The New SAT! Something that we have been looking forward to; the College Board has done a commendable job in that it has made the exam much more lucid.
For a few months, students thought that the administration of the New SAT had eliminated the experimental section. The tricky part was that the practice tests also had no experimental section. In an official announcement, the administration made it clear that ‘a few students would get an experimental section’. As was published in the ‘Advising and Admission Handbook’:
“The SAT gave in a standard testing room (to students with no testing accommodations) consists of four components — five if the optional 50-minute Essay is taken — with each component timed separately. The timed portion of the SAT with Essay (excluding breaks) is three hours and 50 minutes. To allow for pretesting, some students taking the SAT with no Essay will take a fifth, 20-minute section. Any section of the SAT may contain both operational and pretest items.
This is what made it clear that the rule applied to only students who do not write an essay; and that the final section which is experimental can be from either Reading, Writing or Math. What is interesting is that the College Board has not made it clear whether this section counts towards the final score.
What should you do as a student?
As a student, do not be worried about whether this contributes to your final score. Attempt the section just as you would any other section of the test. The same focus and concentration are essential. Let us not tr and out-smart the College Board. As they say, ‘It’s better to be safe than be sorry’.
All the best