Big Changes in Store for the SAT

The SAT is back in the spotlight, and once again there are some big changes in store for the most well-known test in the country. But this time, instead of adding points, the College Board (which makes the test) is subtracting them. They’re also taking out a few other aspects of the testing, and adding some new features to keep the test relevant in a new century.

From 2,400 to 1,600

Perhaps the best known feature of the SAT was its maximum possible score of 1,600. When the writing section of the test was added, the maximum score jumped to 2,400. The latest iteration of the SAT will revert to the 1,600 scoring system. In addition, test-takers will no longer be penalized for incorrect answers.

Diminished Verbosity

The much criticized writing portion of the test will now be optional. In addition, the new SAT will no longer include questions concerning the meaning of obscure words not commonly found in everyday usage. Critics held that this was not a good indicator of student success, and favored students who had the means to enroll in SAT prep courses, which could prepare them for these questions.

A Narrower Focus in Math

The math section in the new SAT has also been overhauled. Known for drawing from a broad range of mathematics, the new math section will feature more focused questions concerning math that students would use both in college and beyond.

A Broader Reach

In an effort to better prepare test-takers, The College Board is partnering with Khan Academy to provide every student with free test preparation materials. The College Board also announced an initiative, “that will give ever income-eligible SAT test-taker four fee waivers to apply to college.”

Learn more about the new SAT and SAT initiatives here and here.