What your student needs to know for the new SAT

Posted at 1:11 PM, Mar 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-09 20:18:03-05

The new SAT debuted Saturday March 5th, much to students' anxious anticipation.

The test now allows a calculator for some portions and, according to Kern High School District, the new test makes it more difficult to cheat.

"A student has to be able to understand concepts, is able to read a text and be able to explain it... They must provide evidence as to why they are taking a particular position [in the written portion]," VIckie Spanos Director of Instruction for KHSD said.

The new version also allows students to not be penalized for guessing, makes the essay portion optional and overall is more concepts based.

Spanos said the reason behind the change is to streamline the learning from high school into college. Spanos added, students shouldn't be overly concerned about the test, saying that is not what determines your future.

"Colleges typically look at this one component and everything else they have accomplished in high school including good grades, activities that they've participated in, and leadership that they've shown," Spanos said.

Jensen Williams, a Junior at Garces Memorial High School, studied long and hard for the new SAT.

"I think it went really well, honestly the math part was a little difficult, but I studied for it, so it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be," Jensen said.

She said she thinks the new version is better than before because it gives students options.

"It made me feel like I could control my future sort of, and it made me feel like I was more in control," she said.

Students at Bakersfield High School, like Cassidy Eisen and Ross Dalke, said they studied for years for this test and feel the new version is easier and maybe a better assessment of their skill.

"I think it might kind of show thier true like potential for it, other than freaking them out with a really long test," Dalke said.

The next test is May 7th, and registration closes April 8th. Sign up online at