GCISD Counseling prepares students for redesigned PSAT/SAT

CollegeBoard In Grapevine-Colleyville ISD, we strive to prepare students for their post graduation plans. To help students with their college planning, we want to make you aware of some upcoming changes to the SAT and PSAT college readiness exam. 
 
This spring, the College Board announced it would be redesigning the SAT beginning in the 2015-2016 school year and our counseling department began planning for these changes and informing teachers and administrators of what to expect so that every child is well equipped for the redesigned exams. Some of the redesigned changes include:
  • No penalties for guessing. On previous SAT exams, students would receive points for correct answers but would be penalized for wrong answers. This made students hesitant to guess on questions on which they were not certain for fear of losing points.
  • The number of answer choices for multiple-choice questions has been reduced from five to four.
  • There will be two math sections and a calculator may only be used for one of the sections.
  • Finally, the SAT essay will be optional (for an additional charge) and those writing the essay will be asked to be analytical, rather than persuasive.
Starting in March 2016, students can take the redesigned SAT; however, the changes will go into effect for the Preliminary SAT (PSAT) this fall. In order to better prepare students for the PSAT/SAT, the College Board has formed a partnership with Khan Academy to offer free, online, official practice exams. For more information, please visit Khan Academy SAT. Additionally, students may use Membean as a tool to help build a robust vocabulary.  
 
We also wanted to make students and parents aware of an important upcoming date. On October 14, all GCISD 8th graders and 10th graders will take the redesigned PSAT during the school day. The district will pay for 8th and 10th grade students to take the PSAT, but we will also allow 9th graders and 11th graders who wish to take this test to register and pay with their respective high school.  We encourage all juniors to take the PSAT on October 14, as this is the qualifying test for the National Merit Scholarship Program.
 
If you have any questions about the redesigned PSAT/SAT, visit the district’s college entrance and readiness exams website or contact your student’s counselor.