Dr. Gary Gruber, a theoretical physicist and educator, has dedicated his life to understanding the critical thinking skills essential in test-taking.
With impending changes to the SAT due to take place in the spring of 2016, his advice may be even more sought after than ever.
The new version of the SAT will revert back to scoring out of 1600, rather than 2400 as is the case for the current exam, and there will be four, rather than the current five, answer choices in the new version. The College Board, the company that owns and publishes the SAT, also says that the new exam will be more aligned with the skills that matter most for college readiness and success.
Gruber contends that he knows which exam students should take to ensure they get the highest possible score, and he has created a created a diagnostic test to help people decide which exam they should take (embedded at the end of this post).
“The one [type of student] that will do better on the new SAT will be one that is more prone to memory and tedious thinking,” Gruber told Business Insider.
“If they don’t mind solving a question in a tedious fashion, I hate to say this but without getting too excited about the problem,” he added, “then they should take the new SAT.”
Gruber went on to explain that students who were more inquisitive and could pick up on nuances in questions will do better on the old version of the SAT.
“You’d have to, in a maths question, notice something curious and connect something with it,” he explained about the old SAT.
The new SAT and the ACT — the other major standardised test students take — are very similar in terms of content and questions, according to Gruber.
Students don’t have long to make a decision on which version they will take. The new version of the SAT will begin in March 2016, leaving test-takers a little under seven months to decide.
This news may be surprising to students who have been reading the new version of the SAT will be the easiest yet, with more time per question, fewer answer choices, and no penalty for guessing. Some test prep experts have concluded that all students will have an easier time with the new version of the SAT.
This is where Gruber stands apart. And he has created short maths and reading diagnostic tests to help students decide which test will be the best test for them.
Take the maths diagnostic test here to find out which standardised test is best for you:
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