Was the March 2024 SAT Tougher?

While the March 6th, 2024 SAT that Christian Brother Academy (CBA) administered was reported to be in-line with the difficulty level of practice materials released by the College Board, the March 9th exam has sparked discussion in academic circles due to reports that it was more challenging than those materials. Test-takers of the March 9th exam were surprised by the discrepancy in difficulty, prompting concerns about preparedness and the effectiveness of available study resources.

The digital transition of the SAT was intended to reflect a more accurate measure of students’ readiness for college-level work, incorporating adaptive testing that adjusts the difficulty of each content area’s 2nd module based on the examinee’s performance. However, students who sat for the March 2024 exam reported that the harder 2nd module—particularly the math— was tougher than the practice materials provided beforehand.

Critics argue that while the College Board’s intention to modernize the test and make it more relevant is commendable, the execution may have fallen short. The lack of alignment between practice materials and the actual test can lead to misaligned study efforts and undue stress among test-takers. This disparity highlights the necessity for the College Board to ensure that their practice materials accurately mirror the actual exam in difficulty.

Educational experts stress the importance of comprehensive preparation strategies that go beyond the practice materials, advocating for a broader approach to test readiness. This includes familiarizing oneself with a wide range of question types and difficulty levels, as well as building test-taking stamina and adaptability.

The feedback from the March 2024 SAT underscores the need for continuous evaluation and adjustment of the preparation materials provided to students. As the SAT continues to evolve, so must the resources and strategies employed by students to prepare for this pivotal examination. The College Board seems to have foreseen this disparity.  Yesterday (as of the writing of this article), the company released digital and linear SAT tests 5 and 6.  Early reports are that the test is more in line with the difficulty of the March 9th exam.  Each SAT is equated to account for variability in difficulty between tests. Hopefully the “curve” on the March 9th test is generous to students.

Suggestion for a topic?  You can reach me at Paul.Pscolka@ivymasters.com 833-SATsACT 833-728-7228 www.ivymasters.com