How the current SAT can help you prepare for the ACT and Redesigned SAT

SAT Math | SAT Writing | SAT | SAT Reading

With this weekend’s penultimate How the current SAT can help you prepare for the ACT and Redesigned SAT (Pencil Erasers)administration of the current SAT (and the College Board says there is no use in learning big vocabulary words), the first administration of the redesigned (rSAT) draws nearer. Those of you who have prepared for the current SAT may be wondering how your studies can help you on the ACT or the rSAT, should you choose to take either test this spring. The good news? Almost everything you studied is tested on both the ACT and rSAT! The bad news? You have a few more things to practice before you take a different test—but rest assured that the bulk of your preparation is complete.

MATH SECTION

Everything on the current SAT is tested on the ACT and will be assessed on the rSAT.

For readers of the SAT Math Bible, this means that pages 33-475 are applicable to the rSAT and the ACT, provided you ignore any information about the format of the test (such as the number of sections and time limits) and the Frequency Guides that accompany each content topic.

Further preparation:

  1. You’ll need to brush up on your Trigonometry, though, before taking either test, since Trig is not tested on the current SAT.
  2. The distribution of content between the current SAT and ACT is quite similar; for example, they both dedicate about 35% of questions to Algebra and Algebra II. But the rSAT will be changing its focus significantly; fifty percent of the new test will focus on Algebra and Algebra II.
 

READING SECTION

All of the question types and reading strategies for long passages covered in the Passage-Based Reading portion of the current SAT will be retained on the ACT and rSAT.

For owners of the SAT Reading Bible, this means that pages 161-213 and 225-393 are applicable to the rSAT and the ACT, provided you ignore any information about the format of the test (such as the number of sections and time limits).

Further preparation:

  1. You should become familiar with the new Command of Evidence questions on the rSAT. For students who excel at the Reading sections, these new questions types will likely be “gimmes,” meaning they should be easy to answer if you answered the preceding question correctly.
  2. Be prepared for questions about Tables and Graphs that accompany some of the passages. These questions are extremely similar to the Science questions on the ACT.
  3. The focus of the current SAT is on Extended Thinking questions, or those that ask you what is inferred in the text or what the author is implying. Both the ACT and rSAT have Extended Thinking questions, but the focus is more on Literal Comprehension questions, or those with answers that are directly stated in the text. Most students find Literal Comprehension questions easier to answer than Extended Thinking questions, so this is a welcome change.

 

WRITING SECTION

All of the grammatical errors assessed on the current SAT are also tested on the ACT and the rSAT.

For SAT Writing Bible readers, this means that pages 37-346 are applicable to the rSAT and the ACT, provided you ignore any information about the format of the test (such as the number of sections and time limits) and the Frequency Guides that accompany each content topic.

Further preparation:

  1. The rSAT is featuring passage-based questions, much like the ACT, instead of sentence-based questions. You must be prepared for this format change.
  2. Both the ACT and the rSAT also test punctuation rules, which the current SAT does not test. You would be wise to review these rules, especially those involving commas.
  3. Be prepared for questions about Tables and Graphs that accompany some of the passages. These questions are extremely similar to the Science questions on the ACT.
  4. The rSAT is increasing focus on style maintenance and diction, including homophones and commonly confused words.

 

Our Bibles will be updated as we gather more evidence about the test. In the meantime, however, I am happy to help any book owners and readers who have questions about how to adapt the book to fit their preparation for either the ACT or rSAT. You can reach me at vwood@powerscore.com.

 

Image: "New Number 2's" courtesy of Jeff Weese