If you didn’t know, TestRocker is here to tell you that changes are on the horizon across the test-prep landscape. In earlier blogs, we wrote about how the new SAT and new ACT will bring students a different test taking experience. In 2015, there will also be changes to the PSAT.
These changes are meant to mirror the announced changes to the SAT and ensure that students have a chance to prepare for the new SAT with a PSAT that is a realistic representation of the test. In addition to preparing students for the redesigned SAT, these changes are also meant to provide a measure of student performance and make it easier to identify a student’s areas of weakness. Below, we walk you through some of the structural and content modifications that you can expect on the PSAT as of October 2015.
Structural Changes to the PSAT
Today’s PSAT has 3 components. These three components are critical reading, writing, and mathematics. The PSAT of the future will have only two components. The first is an evidence-based reading and writing section. The second is a math section. A reading test and writing and language test will be collapsed into the new evidence-based reading and writing section.
While the PSAT will go from having 3 components to 2 components, this doesn’t mean that the test will be any shorter. In fact on the new PSAT the test will go from being 2 hours and 10 minutes long to being 2 hours and 45 minutes long.
A number of significant changes have been made to the way the PSAT will be scored. There will no longer be a penalty for incorrect answers. Students will receive points for the right answer but receive no penalty for blank or incorrect answers.
Subscores will be provided for each section of the test, a feature that is not currently available with the PSAT. These subscores are meant to provide students, educators, and parents with a fuller picture of whether students have a grasp on the content being tested. PSAT test takers will receive seven different subscores.
Overall score reporting will also be different on the new PSAT. Each of the PSATs three tests (Reading Test, Writing and Language Test, and Math) will be scored on a range from 10-40. The two areas, Evidence-Based Reading and Writing & Math will each be scored from 200-800. The redesigned PSATs composite score will range from 400 to 1600.
Content Changes to the PSAT
Echoing the changes to the SAT that were reported earlier this year, the PSAT vocab section will not require students to just memorize a bunch of words and their meanings. Instead students will have to demonstrate an understanding of words by applying them in context.
While the current PSAT has an emphasis on general reasoning skills, the new PSAT will also test whether students have knowledge, skills, and understanding for college and career success.
Leave us a comment and let us know what you think of the coming changes to the PSAT.
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