Class of 2017: New SAT or Old SAT? (Updated) | NerdyMates Blog


Avoid Being a Guinea Pig

Have friends who also need help with test prep?

The January 2016 Deadline Is Not That Bad

The Class of 2017 is in a tough spot on the SAT. Should you take the new SAT or old SAT? If you take the new SAT, you would be the guinea pigs for a totally new system; if you take the old one, you have a tighter schedule. How does it break down?

Yes, it does restrict some backup options for you, but really, you don’t want to be studying junior summer, or worse, senior fall. If you study for the SAT too late, it will interfere with your extracurriculars and college application process. Ideally, you want junior summer, and certainly senior fall, to be free from the distraction of taking SATs.

Important Note: This article has been updated as of January 25th 2016. If you are reading this, then at least for official testings, it writing is too late to choose the old SAT. This article was for historical SAT test-takers registering before January 2016. However, the advice below is still useful for any future test version changes, whether SAT or ACT.


You Get to Take Two Bites at the Apple

Long story short: if you can manage it, aiming for the old SAT would be advantageous. Don’t wait for the new SAT to take it! Also, check back here for a complete timeline guide for the Class of 2017 taking the SAT.

Other Posts You May Like:

Not if you’re taking the old SAT — you get to pick from the best of two tests! Just take the New SAT, and if it’s a better fit for you, you’re golden!

But the reverse scenario? If you plan to take the new SAT, and then bomb it and figure out you’re actually better at the old SAT? Sorry pal, but you can’t turn back time — you’re stuck!

Also, if you plan correctly, you’ll actually have more opportunties to take the SAT with a schedule that puts your test in January or before, rather than March or later. The January 2016 deadline is really not that bad with just a bit of earlier study.

There are a few exceptions to the advice that the Class of 2017 should take the old SAT. The primary one is if you’re going to wing the SAT. For the same reason that studiers benefit from the old SAT, if you’re going to totally wing it anyway, the new SAT is better for you since studiers won’t have as large of a relative advantage.

  • Almost all free advice you can find online about the SAT applies best to the old SAT. They may still hold for the new SAT, but there’s a chance the diametric opposite is true.
  • What to Do Next:

    What if you don’t have enough time to study for the January 2016 SAT? Say it’s three weeks before, is it still worth signing up? I would say if you are a serious SAT taker — yes for sure! Even if you don’t study much, if you’re naturally better at the old SAT, you could do better on the old SAT naturally compared to the new SAT. If you’ve got an extra four hours, and don’t mind retaking the new SAT again, it is definitely worth it to strategically just try the old SAT even with minimal study in case you’re naturally better at it!

    Click the link below and enter your email address to get the best SAT prep advice you can get anywhere. Follow these 5 strategies to improve your SAT score by 240 points or more.

    What should your SAT target be?

    Aside: Not in the Class of 2017? Find out whether you should take the new or old SAT here!

    The answer, according to multiple experts, is to definitely take the old SAT (though there are a few exceptions, see below). Fred Zhang, cofounder of PrepScholar, went through the last SAT transition in 2005, and saw tremendous advantages for the takers of the old SAT.

    Posted by Dr. Fred Zhang | Nov 5, 2015 7:26:21 PMSAT Logistics,

      SAT / ACT Prep Online Guides and Tips

    • You can take a real administration early on to get a feel for timing and the tests.
    • Exceptions: If you just want to wing the SAT

    • SAT prep companies and study guides will have perfected prepping for the old SAT.
    • You follow the old SAT timeline. Suppose you do great on the old SAT, blowing it out of the water — great, you don’t need to take the SAT anymore! Now assume the reverse: you royally mess up on the old SAT, its style isn’t for you. Is it over?

      Get Started Improving Your SAT Score Today:

      Now that you know which SAT to take, you’ll probably want to know how to study for it.

    • More than 20 real practice SATs have been released by the College Board, and practicing using real tests is so important.
    • Not in the Class of 2017? Should you take the new or old SAT?

      Class of 2017: New SAT or Old SAT? (Updated)

      Admittedly, the schedule is less than optimal. The final chance you have to take the SAT will be January 2016, according to the College Board. This is only the middle of your junior year, which gives you less slack than your older classmates, but has huge advantages.

    • You can ask older classmates for their best tips and strategies.
    • You know what the current SAT looks like. There is almost a decade of history with the current SAT. Everyone knows what the old SAT looks like, how to effectively prepare for it, and what’s on it. You can do real practice tests that have actually been given in the past. This advantage cannot be overstated. If you are the studying type, taking a test with no history will greatly lower your relative advantage. Here are all of the extra resources you get access to with the old SAT:

      We’ve researched hundreds of student stories and academic studies and found the 5 principles you need to follow to improve your score.

      In first few administrations of the new SAT, you’ll be a guinea pig for the College Board. They don’t yet have experience in designing flawless problems, calibrating their scale, and perfecting the proctoring instructions. I personally would not be surprised at more than a few hiccups.