New Goals Set for SAT
College Board announced that changes would be made to SAT tests starting in 2016 in a March 5 press release.
Some of the proposed changes include returning to the 1600 scoring scale, making the essay portion optional (as well as extending writing time, possibly up to 50 minutes), and can be taken either in print or on a computer by 2016.
“The announcement was sudden, even for us,” counselor Ms. Nightengale said. “But no one really seems to be making a big deal about it yet.”
Although no changes are official yet, students are already reacting to possible revisions that have been released.
“I heard that they want to take out the SAT vocabulary and add words that are more common to everyday use,” senior Lena Yen said. “And I heard something about them wanting to incorporate more historical documents into the test. I think this would make the test a lot more relevant.”
Incoming freshmen are taking note of the changes too, as they prepare to enter high school and begin studying for the SAT.
“Since they’re making the math more focused on certain topics, I think the test will be easier,” eighth grader Timothy Wu said. “It’s less about endless memorization and more about enhancing skills I actually use.”
Students who have already taken the test are not sure what effects the changes will have.
“I think abolishing deductions for wrong answers would inflate scores and maybe make it easier for students to get higher scores,” Yen said. “I’d want to take the test, but I wouldn’t want to be one of the first ones trying it out.”
Although students have their own take on how these revisions will impact scores, counselors do not anticipate too many differences.
“The SAT was originally on a 1600 scale and the switch to the current scale didn’t change scores much in my experience, so I don’t think that reverting back to 1600 will change scores either,” Ms. Nightengale said. “Ideally, these changes will work out since they should be aligning with the Common Core standards that California is now adopting.”
The new SAT changes mark a shift in educational goals and priorities.
“What this country needs is not more tests, but more opportunities,” College Board President David Coleman said. “The real news today is not just the redesigned SAT, but the College Board’s renewed commitment to delivering opportunity.”