Benefits of Common Core Standards | Being Prepared for New SAT

The new SAT, set to launch in 2016, went through many changes to be aligned with the Common Core standards. Therefore, one of the benefits of the common core standards is that students will be better prepared for the new SAT as a result of haivng already mastered the agreed upon standards for math, essay writing, reading, and vocabulary in their coursework.

Benefits of Common Core Standards | No More Arcane Vocabulary on SAT

Another shift on the SAT is away from tough and useless vocabulary words to more useful vocabulary words for college classes or the workplace. This matches the Common Core standard of building vocabulary through reading and studying. The standards also specify that students need to be able to gain knowledge through different texts (scientific, technical, literary, etc.) by understanding drawing and diagrams. The ability to interpret this kind of data and to answer questions based on these figures will be key for the new SAT.

Benefits of Common Core Standards | Excel on the Optional Essay

The big SAT change everyone knows about is the optional essay. However, the essay prompt itself has changed, not just whether or not students have to write an essay. On the new SAT, students need to analyze evidence in a passage and explain how the author creates that argument using evidence. That’s more challenging than the current SAT, which has students respond to a simple, two-argument prompt and choose a side.

For the essay, students will use several Common Core standards: general writing requirements, using source documents, and citing evidence. The writing standard is straightforward and requires students to write coherently and deliberately. For source documents, students are expected to apply their reading skills to documents from many different genres, not just literary text. The citing evidence standard requires students to cite specific pieces of evidence while writing and show how they interpret that evidence. By building up these standards through school work, teens should be prepared for the essay section.

Benefits of Common Core Standards | SAT Math Will Be Deeper, Not Broader

There is some more good news about the redesigned SAT. It covers fewer math topics, which means fewer areas to study! While not as many topics appear on the exam, both the Common Core standards and the SAT creators expect students to be proficient in these areas, instead of knowing only a surface-level amount about many topics.

The second part of the Common Core standards requires students to use math tools strategically in order to solve problems. This means not pulling out a calculator for every single problem, and instead using a variety of problem-solving strategies to complete each question. For teens who have not practiced mental math or pencil and paper calculations in a while, this can be a huge shift.

Understanding these standards can help students plan for what they’ll see on the new SAT. For interested teens, a complete list of the SAT changes can be found on the College Board's website.


Preparation for the SAT does not have to be daunting and exasperating; instead, it can represent an important opportunity along a student’s path to learning mastery. Indeed, the perspectives and abilities acquired during preparation can be transformative and last a lifetime.

Our two-track approach to mastering content and improving test-taking skills means that students will not only thoroughly understand the fundamental concepts and skills tested by the SAT, but they will also excel in using essential techniques to improve attitude, endurance and focus. Our students hone their independent thinking skills while developing a resilient mindset so they can perform on test day in a powerful, resourceful, creative and calm manner. Each student in our program receives the undivided attention and expertise of a dynamic and experienced coach who provides the framework to support each student on his unique path to becoming a master learner.

Please call 917.287.7927 now for a complimentary consultation to discuss how Origins Tutoring can help your child achieve his or her personal best on the SAT.