Thursday, March 6, 2014

SAT Announces New Changes by 2016

College Board, the organization that administers the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test), recently announced significant changes to their test structure by 2016. Each year about 1.7 million students take the SAT exam with hopes of successfully gaining admission to their dream university. Changes to the SAT will also affect many international students looking to study in the U.S. We've summarized some of the changes for you here. 

The three-hour exam will include evidence-based reading and writing, math, and the additional 50-minute essay. The SAT is meant to test how well a student can use evidence-based thinking by selecting the right answer and reinforcing their choice with a quote from the text. The test makers believe this skill should be learned in high school with less emphasis on test-taking tricks. Low-income students will be given fee waivers so that there will be less barriers to the cost of applying to universities. Free online practice problems and instructional videos will also be provided.

Here are some of the significant changes that will be made to the SAT:

  • SAT scores will return to 400-1600 scale with 800 points being the max for reading and math.
  • The 50-minute essay portion will become optional with a separate score.
  • Penalty for incorrect answers will be removed.
  • SAT vocabulary will more accurately reflect words used in college courses.
  • Math questions will focus on linear equations, ratios, percentages, proportional reasoning, complex equations and functions.
  • Every exam will include a reading passage from significant U.S. documents such as, the Declaration of Independence, Bill of Rights, or Martin Luther King Jr.’s writings. 

The SAT will continue to be offered in print. Some locations will administer the test the computer. Just as our school curriculum changes, exams to test our learning will continue to change as well. What are your thoughts on these changes? Leave us a comment below on how these changes may affect you and what can be improved.

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