National SAT Average Score
For the new 2016 SAT, the College Board calculated SAT score percentiles for two groups: all 11th and 12th grade students (Nationally Representative Sample Percentiles) and college-bound students who typically take the SAT for the last time as 11th- or 12th-graders (SAT User Percentiles).
For the Nationally Representative Sample, the national average SAT score was:
For college-bound SAT users, the SAT national average score was:
Therefore, if you score above a 1020 on the new SAT, you’re above the national average score on the SAT for all seniors. If you score above a 1080, you’re above the national average for college-bound seniors. Keep in mind that when applying to college, you'll be compared to other students who are also applying, meaning that second average (1083) is the more relevant one.
The USA has over 5,000 colleges and universities to choose from. Many schools even offer the same program but with different degrees. For example, at some schools, students can choose from a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Psychology or a Bachelor of Sciences (BS) in Psychology. What is the difference between a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Sciences?
BACHELOR OF ARTS (BA)
A Bachelor of Arts degree offers students a broader education in their major. Students are required to take a variety of liberal art subjects such as humanities, literature, history, social sciences, communications, and a foreign language. Students can select from a diverse list of courses that fulfill each liberal arts requirement. This allows students to actively mold their education to their interests. A BA degree provides a more diverse education in a particular major, therefore, a BA degree generally requires less credits than a BS degree.
BACHELOR OF SCIENCES (BS)
A Bachelor of Science degree offers students a more specialized education in their major. Generally, a BS degree requires more credits than a BA degree because a BS degree is more focused in the specific major. Students are required to focus on studying their major at a more in-depth level. Students have fewer chances to take classes outside of their major. A BS degree is generally offered in technical and scientific topics like engineering, technology, mathematics, computer science, nursing, and biochemistry. Although a BS degree is generally offered in scientific degrees, many schools offer BS degrees in specialized fields.
A Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Sciences are both perceived equally. One is neither better than the other. It strongly depends on whether you’d like to receive a more broader or specialized education in your major. Take some time to learn about each program you are interested so you can make the best decision for yourself.
Source: Study in the USA
College Board released a giant 211-page specification for the redesigned SAT, first coming out in Spring of 2016.
OVERALL CHANGES IN NEW SAT
The College Board has promised that the new SAT test will test skills that are more predictive of success in college and beyond. We find generally that the SAT changes in 2016 accomplish this goal.
Greater Emphasis on Reasoning Skills and Context, Not Skills in Isolation
Historically the SAT has tested skills in isolation. Vocabulary-based questions would basically evaluate whether the student knew the common definition of that word (like "expropriate"). Writing questions would often test a single grammatical rule in a single sentence. Math questions would test a single math concept for a question of limited scope.
Instead, the new SAT emphasizes higher-level logical and reasoning skills. The Reading and Writing questions are now entirely passage-based, giving more opportunities to test a deeper understanding of how the passage is logically constructed and to draw connections between different parts of the passage. The Math section emphasizes more practical, realistic scenarios and introduces multi-step problems.
Fewer Learnable "Tricks"
The SAT has often been criticized for asking deceptive questions and for using tricks to complicate questions. This meant that students who performed well in school may do poorly on the SAT simply because they were unaccustomed to the presentation of questions.
As a result of emphasizing higher-level reasoning, the new SAT features fewer tricks, particularly in the Math and Writing sections. The skills tested are more difficult, but the presentation is more straightforward.
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