Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 24 March 2018

UAE parents urged to get familiar with changes to SAT exams

The SATs, which are mandatory, have for the first time in around a decade undergone a significant change by the College Board.

DUBAI// Parents of children who are looking to study at a college or university in the United States are being urged to learn more about the new SAT entrance exams due to come into force next year.

The SATs, which are mandatory, have for the first time in around a decade undergone a significant change by the College Board.

Teachers and parents can learn more about how this will impact children during a special seminar on Saturday.

“Changes to the SATs are rare and it is something that students and parents who want to send their children to schools in the US need to be made aware of,” said Ben Prusiner, a SAT and ACT test prep instructor for A-List Middle East, an education services provider, which has organised the event.

The changes come into force in March 2016 and will be significantly different to the current testing, he said.

Under the new testing criteria students will have to use grammar and words in the correct context in text.

Students will also have to show their ability to interpret and use evidence based sources including graphs and texts from sciences and other subjects in the reading, writing and evidence section of the test.

They will have to use the information provided to best answer the question as well as analyse data.

The maths section will now focus on problem solving, algebra, data analysis and more complex equations and they will not be allowed to use a calculator in one of the two sections of the test.

“From next year we will also see much more focus on important historic American documents like Declaration of Independence and Bill of Rights, which may be an issue for students who are not from the United States,” said Mr Prusiner.

“The changes to the PSAT and SAT are significant and it’s critical for students, parents, and educators to understand these changes and begin to prepare,” said Scott Farber, founder and president of A-List Education.

Andy Westerman, principal of Collegiate American School, said it was vital that students were prepared.

“With the increased focus on student performance for the redesigned SAT coming up in 2016,” he said.

“It’s incumbent upon school leaders to ensure students are prepared to demonstrate the skills in which colleges and universities seek in their applicants.”

The College Board is an American private not-for-profit corporation with a membership of more than 6,000 US schools, universities and colleges and develops and administers the SAT admissions tests. The seminar takes place at Collegiate American School, in Dubai on Saturday from 10am to 12pm.