College Board brings new change to SAT testing


Jenna Brobst, Reporter

In March of 2014, the College Board announced that their most popular college admissions exam, the SAT, will be undergoing major changes for the 2016 testing year. The test hasn’t had a major change since 2005.

According to CNN, the new format of the SAT will include a more in-depth, evidence-based reading section, math section, and a, now optional, essay. High School Counselor Judy Creps said that students will now have to “extrapolate (conclude) information from the reading to get the answers.” Another aspect of the change is that the test will be reverting back to a score scale of 1600 instead of the current 2400. Students who take the test will now not be penalized for wrong answers. Creps said that students will now only get scored for the questions they answered correctly, meaning that students can now guess on questions they might not know and won’t receive a penalty if they get it wrong. Creps recommends that students taking the new version of the SAT take the exam one time with the optional essay to get it out of the way and then take the exam a second time without the essay. The essay portion of the exam is to be scored on a separate 2-8 scale instead of the 1600 scale. According to counselor Jocelyn Kraus, colleges have begun to indicate that they will look at the essay for “placement testing information instead of admittance.”

Creps said that the change comes on the heels of college professors noticing that even though college freshman who have taken the SAT and scored well are not doing as well in the college setting. Kraus said that the change to the SAT is being made in order to “move away from the idea that you just have to know some ridiculously long in depth vocabulary word that no one has ever heard of and instead be able to decipher what the word would mean in a certain context.”

There have also been changes made to SAT prep methods. In order to make the test and its prep more accessible to all interested youths, College Board is now partnering with Khan Academy to provide free, online SAT prep with open access. In addition to the online prep, there is now a SAT Prep course offered here at the high school. During quarters 3 and 4, period 5, students who signed up for the class, will be taught by Tyler Henry and Robert Hankes in an effort to prep for the SAT exam. Henry said that the class is “All for the kids. It’s to improve their scores because that can be the difference between getting into the college of their dreams or not.” According to Henry, the class would be split in half so that half the time students are working with Henry on math and then Hankes on English, however the specifics of the class are yet to be determined. Henry says that he is excited for the class and for the change to the SAT.

Senior Josh Line said that he wished he had taken the new test when he took the SAT’s. He said that he believes the newer test will be easier than the old for those taking it. The new SAT exam will be put into effect for the March 5 exam. Creps and Kraus had some reminders for students: if a student gets free/reduced lunch the fee for the SAT is waived and the deadline for regular registration for the March 5 exam is Feb 5.