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Stress Over Newly Designed SAT Causes Students to Sit Test Out, Survey Finds

Stress Over Newly Designed SAT Causes Students to Sit Test Out, Survey Finds

Despite the positive response from students who have taken the newly designed SAT thus far, a survey conducted by the Princeton Review and Seventeen Magazine has found that stress over the change has caused many students to sit the test out.

“... the first administration of the test caused many additional stresses. In a recent survey conducted by The Princeton Review and Seventeen Magazine right after Saturday's first administration of the new test, 40% of students who would have taken the March test decided to sit this one out, since the unknowns about it scared them,” said Jonathan Chiu, National SAT/ACT® Content Director, The Princeton Review in a statement.

The survey also found that while students are evenly split on whether or not the new SAT is easier than the old one, 70 percent are in agreement that the Math Without a Calculator section was the hardest.

The nervousness behind taking the new SAT, the study found, could have a lot to with the increase in ACT enrollments this year. In fact, Chiu recommended that students nervous over changes like the Math Without a Calculator section take the ACT instead to suit their comfort level.

"If you are not comfortable doing math without a calculator, you should take the ACT. Students who feel they need more time should know that on the SAT, you'll have, on average, 39% more time to answer questions,” he said.

He also suggested that students nervous about the new test sign up for the June SAT to give themselves more time to prepare.

The survey seemingly backed up College Board’s claim, however, that its partnership with Khan Academy is helping students and families save money on test preparation materials.

The survey found that 70 percent of students used online test materials to prepare while only 30 percent took some kind of course.

For students unsure whether they would perform better on the ACT or SAT, the Princeton Review is offering free practice tests for students to try.. Those practice tests are available here.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

3/9/2016

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