New SAT Changes Coming in 2016


Emely Vasquez, Staff Reporter

The Scholastic Aptitude Standardized Test (SAT) is widely used for college admissions in the United States. It was first introduced in 1926, and is a test many students take before graduating high school. The SAT is typically taken by high school sophomores, juniors and seniors. The College Board states that the SAT measures literacy and writing skills that are needed for academic success in college. The SAT assesses how well the test takers analyze and solve problems–skills they learned in high school that they will need in college. However, the test is administered under a tight time limit to help produce a range of scores. It has remained relevantly the same throughout the years up until now.

On March 5, 2014, the College Board announced that a redesigned version of the SAT would be administered for the first time in 2016. The exam will: revert to the 1600-point scale, the essay will be optional, students will have three hours to take the exam plus 50 additional minutes to complete the essay, restricted calculator use, and more relevant vocabulary. The new SAT will consist of Math and Reading sections scored between 200 and 800, and the optional essay will be evaluated separately, and the ¼-point penalty for wrong answers will be discontinued. The new scoring model is also more complex than ever; providing enriched score reports to shed light on student’s individual strengths and areas that need improvement. Many believe the current SAT is far too disconnected from the actual work done in high schools, and think these changes are necessary and will benefit the students taking the SATs.