Big Changes Ahead for SAT Test

The company who creates the SAT announced big changes are on the way in 2016.

Among the changes, College Board President David Coleman says the essay will be come optional, students won't be penalized for a wrong answer and more relevant vocabulary will be used in the English section.

The changes come after years of criticism that the test doesn't accurately represent the information learned in high school, and Coleman agrees.

"It is time to admit that the SAT and ACT have become far too disconnected from the work of our high schools," said Coleman.

Test prep coordinators will also have to over-haul their courses, and say they'll begin teaching the new information next summer.

"We'll definitely approach it in the same way we've approached the changes with all of the other programs that we've had to work with," said University of South Carolina Test Prep Coordinator Meredith Higgs. "We'll just make sure that we are checking with College Board to make sure that we are actually providing the right information."

USC reports they expect to see a statewide shortage of people with two and four-year degrees by 2030. Experts say college admittance only becomes more difficult as the standards raise, and Higgs believes that trend is only going to continue

."I think it's going to continue being more competitive because they're raising the bars every year," said Higgs. "With the test changing, it's going to really test the students to see how we'll they're ready for college and using those skills that they learned in high school to apply them in real life."

With change often comes stress, but Coleman says those are the exact feelings the new test is aimed at minimizing.

"We've also been listening to students and their families for whom these tests are often mysterious and foster unproductive anxiety," said Coleman.

In order to make sure students are ready and don't over-think the changes, the new PSAT will be unveiled in 2015 to allow students to prepare.


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