The New SAT

By Alexa Salazar

satSince the 1920’s, the SAT, Scholastic Aptitude Test, has  been THE resource available for colleges and universities to evaluate who they are going to choose for a new batch of incoming freshmen.

Consequently, the SAT has the majority of high school students overwhelmed. But alas! This test is having yet another overhaul.

For those who are about to throw out those index cards filled with vocabulary words, hold on to them because this new SAT will not be released until the spring of 2016.

Below are some changes made in the SAT:

  • The essay will be optional (administered at the end of the test)
  • Testing time will be reduced from 3 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours
  • The scoring scale of 2400 will change back to 1600 (as it was before they changed the test in 2005)
  • Math will focus on real world problems
  • The math section will not permit calculators to be used on every portion.
  • Penalties will no longer be given for wrong answers.

(For more information about the changes, go to https://www.collegeboard.org/delivering-opportunity/sat/redesign/compare-tests or http://www.kaptest.com/College/SAT/sat-test-change.html)

Why did they change this test? According to a 2008 UCLA report, the SAT “is a relatively poor predictor of student performance.” Years of studying in a classroom, “high-school grades, and other standardized tests tap into what students actually do in school. These are more valid indicators of how students are likely to do in college.” (usatoday.com)

As College Board President David Coleman said, “It is time for an admissions assessment that makes it clear that the road to success is not last-minute tricks or cramming but the learning students do over years each day.”

The changes  claim to help students showcase what they have learned “over the years.” However, will this new version of the test really challenge a student on what they learned in school instead of what they learned in hours of test preparations?

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