Wednesday, June 07, 2023

This is the last of four articles on this topic.

Over the past 18 years that I have prepared students for the SAT; I have developed an extensive relationship with many of the top SAT tutors both in this area as well as across the US. It has enabled me to share in the release of all the current SAT exams and use that knowledge to prepare my students to excel when taking the SAT.

Now there is going to be a “new” SAT and no one has a good word to say about this new test. As Glenn, a tutor at Bell Curves, stated, “This test ‘ramps up the difficulty’ in Math. A large number of less savvy Math students will get a look at some of these questions and run screaming towards the ACT.” From Neill, Director of Education at Inspirica, “The released questions that we have seen take a very conceptual and sophisticated approach to Math and show a penchant for reading passages with a high degree of linguistic sophistication. Kids will really struggle with this material.”

James Murphy, in his article in The Atlantic, references another question the College Board put out. “An international bank issues its Traveler credit cards worldwide. When a customer makes a purchase using a Traveler card in a currency different from the consumer’s home currency, the bank converts the purchase price at the daily foreign exchange rate and then charges a 4% fee on the converted cost. Sara lives in the United States, but is on vacation in India. She used her Traveler card for a purchase that cost 602 rupees (Indian currency). The bank posted a charge of $9.88 to her account that included the 4% fee. A bank in India sells a prepaid credit card worth 7,500 rupees. Sara can buy the prepaid card using dollars at the daily exchange rate with no fee, but she will lose any money left unspent on the prepaid card. What is the least number of the 7,500 rupees on the prepaid card Sara must spend for the prepaid card to be cheaper than charging all her purchases on the Traveler card? Round your answer to the nearest whole number of rupees. (Answer at end of article).

Having trouble with the above problem? No problem. The way to relieve you of your hard-earned money is on the way. The College Board itself is not releasing its new prep book until June 30, 2015. Yet Princeton is already coming out with its new 2016 prep book on April 28. Ivy Global has had its new SAT 2016 guide out as of October 22, 2014. It’s only $52.50, but you can get it on Amazon for $34.41. To their credit, Kaplan won’t be coming out with their book until August 4.

Who are they kidding? Please do not buy these books. How can they pretend to give you advice when the College Board itself hasn’t even released more than a few problems? In the end it does not matter because there is no way you should take the “new” test. In my opinion, anyone who tells you they can prepare you for the new SAT is incorrect.

Not taking the new SAT leaves current sophomores with but two options for next year. The first is to take the ACT. This is a very good choice for those who want to build up their knowledge in both Math as well as Verbal during their junior year and take the exam in late spring or in the beginning of their senior year. In fact, this is my recommendation even for current freshman, as the new SAT will still really be in its infancy two years from now.

The other option is to prepare and take the old SAT, which as I pointed out in my first article will be given through January 2016. All colleges will accept these scores as well as the “new” ones. The obvious drawback to this approach is that all prep must be completed early in the year to enable one to take the test in December 2015 and January 2016.

I do not love the ACT. While there are many children who take it and the trend is only growing, I have found it more difficult than the SAT and do not prepare children for it.

So, what should you do next year? To pick from the above choices will require some thought and planning. Many children and parents are doing just that. I have been inundated with requests for help to explain the process for next year and plan for the old SAT, and will be tutoring both privately as well as running a class. But that course will have to begin earlier than usual.

Whatever you do, you need to be proactive. You now have two options. Waiting until September will lower those options to only one.

Please feel free to contact me at any time. Wishing all only the best and good luck in whatever you decide.

Answer to question: 7,212 rupees.

Howard Goldberg is the owner of Gold’s Math and SAT Tutoring service and has helped thousands of children to excel on the SAT. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Howard Goldberg

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