Big changes on the horizon for the SAT

March 5, 2014

The College Board, which oversees all aspects of the SAT test, revealed yesterday that there will be major changes to the test starting in 2016. College Board President David Coleman was quoted as saying, “The test should offer worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles." These changes are in direct relation to their desire to close the gap between students from different socioeconomic classes, which may favor higher income families.

In their ongoing efforts to give students the best test of aptitude possible, they have concluded that the test will return to a 1600 point scale, reminiscent of the pre-2005 system. The essay will no longer be a requirement, but available to students that wish to write it and will be graded separately from the overall test. On top of that, there will no longer be any penalty for incorrectly answering questions. This has long been a deterrent to guessing throughout the test.
Furthermore, the test will focus more on topics deemed most needed for college and life afterwards. That means that in the vocabulary sections, they will do away with vocabulary that is likely to never be used or heard outside of the test and math will focus more on fewer areas, such as, algebra, eliminating the use of calculators in portions.

What does this all mean? Since these changes take effect in 2016, it will be this year’s freshmen that will be trying it out for the first time in their junior year. It will mean a different approach to preparation and hopefully result in a more accurate assessment of college bound students. Teaching For Tomorrow will monitor these changes closely and adapt our curriculum to ensure your student is prepared for this new SAT.