1.Note the context of each passage: The evidence-based reading and writing section will draw some of its passages from historical documents. While the redesigned SAT will not require prior knowledge of these documents, familiarity with their content may help you complete the exam more accurately and more quickly.
The SAT’s goal is to assess how well you understand key elements of the passages. For example, in this sample question provided by the College Board, students are asked to make the subtle distinction between the common use of "parties," and the formal political associations we know as the Democratic and Republican parties.
No high school student is expected to have deep knowledge of the passage’s source – it's an address by Congresswoman Barbara Jordan in 1974. However, some familiarity with the events, persons and terms cited in the selection can provide crucial context.
After all, it would be difficult to answer this question if you were unable to define "impeachment" and "political parties," and if you knew nothing of Richard Nixon’s dismissal from office.
2.Understand the link between questions: The redesigned SAT is notable for its follow-up questions. These questions require a test-taker to identify the precise text selection that supports his or her answer to the previous problem. In other words, you will be expected to provide evidence that supports your claims.
This effectively raises the stakes when selecting your answers. For instance, your answer to one question, for example, "What does the author mean in lines 1 to 4?," will affect your response to the question "How do you know?"
3.Become familiar with charts and graphs: Another new emphasis on the SAT is reading and interpreting visual displays of data, some of which are scientific in nature. However, you will not need to know pages of scientific facts to be successful.
Overall, the new design of the SAT presents test-takers with significant new challenges, but it also provides excellent new opportunities. If you are planning to sit for the exam in 2016 or later, you can now focus on improving your textual analysis skills instead of memorizing vocabulary. These skills will help you throughout the entire test, including many portions of the math section.