Redesigned SAT

Redesigned SAT

Hallela Hinton-Williams

Every year, two million students take the SAT in order to take the first step in pursuing higher education.  The test is constantly changing so that it can accommodate upcoming generations and properly test the skills of teenagers around the nation. Millions of students have taken this test before us, and millions more will.  This year, the SAT is changing once again.

Starting March 5, 2016, the first chance any one will have to take the new test, several things will be added and taken away from the current test.  Right now, every incorrect answer results in a 1/4 point penalty to your score, and with the new changes, this penalty will be abolished.  The new test will also make the essay portion optional, a change that could drastically affect the scores of many teenagers. The scoring of the test is also being redesigned; the overall score of an individual test will be out of 1600 rather than 2400, much like the test our parents took before the 2005 change to a 2400-point scale.  Along with these test changes, many low-income students will be eligible for a SAT fee waiver, a form that will send your scores to four of your choice colleges.

The content of the SAT will also be changing in the redesigned test.  The Reading Comprehension area will include different subjects like history or science.  The Math section will narrow its focus, and the vocabulary on the test will be up-to-date with words students will use on a daily basis in college and beyond.  Upon announcing the changes,  David Coleman, president of College Board said, “(the changes) were the result of an attempt to level the playing field for students and better align the test with what students actually learn. And that both the SAT and the ACT have become “far too disconnected” from American schools.”

Hopefully, these changes will help students get into college without inordinate amounts of testing stress and better test the students on the skills and knowledge they’ll need.  The SAT has changed significantly from its first conception in 1926, and with each graduating class, the SAT evolves into something less like a mandatory test, and more like a tradition.