Introduction

Change is good, right? So why do so many people hop on the nervous-breakdown train when they hear that the SAT is changing? Perhaps because the SAT is an important step on your journey to college, and anything to do with the admissions process is enough to give applicants an instant panic attack. Nervous or not, you have to take the SAT when you apply to most colleges or universities in the United States and to some English-speaking institutions abroad. The “old” SAT has been around since 2005 and was actually a redesign of a still older exam. The “new” SAT appears in March 2016. Because it’s new, that version of the SAT may seem extra scary.

You have nothing to worry about, though, because you’ve been preparing for this version of the SAT for many years. What? You say you haven’t been memorizing vocabulary words and drilling key math concepts since you were in your crib? How neglectful of you! Actually, you have been getting ready for the redesigned SAT, because you’ve been studying the necessary material during every single minute you devote to schoolwork, not counting lunch and the time you spend texting your friends from the phone hidden behind your science book. But those small lapses don’t count for much when you consider the amount of time you’ve been analyzing and uncovering meaning when you read, organizing your ideas and writing papers, and solving math problems (more than 10,000 hours between kindergarten and tenth grade, according to a recent survey).

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