7 Things You Need to Know about the Redesigned SATs ...


You have probably already heard some news on the redesigned SATs. As if high school students didn’t have enough to worry about, the College Board recently announced radical changes to the most influential test for college admissions. Although this and next year’s graduates have nothing to worry about, the students who plan to take the SAT in 2016 have to prepare for a newly redesigned test. Whether the redesigned SATs are an advantage or a disadvantage for American education is still up for debate.

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The Test is Now out of 1600

Since 2005, the SAT consists of three sections of writing, reading and math. Each section is worth 800 points, altogether adding up to a perfect score of 2400. However in 2016, the perfect score will be scaled to 1600 points. Although this feature of the newly redesigned SATs doesn’t seem that major, it is still throwing off many students off their game.


The Test Will Be Available in Digital Form

The SAT has only been previously available only in paper form, however in 2016 the test will also be going digital. A digital version of the test can definitely be a blessing and a curse for the test takers. Although today’s students prefer technology to paper-and-pencil testing, they might stumble upon some problems when it comes to the mathematics section.


No More Obscure Vocabulary

Instead of having to memorize a bunch of words that you would probably never end up using, future SAT test takers will only have to focus on more day-to-day vocabulary. College Board has decided to focus on words that are widely used in college and workplaces. One of the major problems for the test-takers in the past was the obscure vocabulary, therefore this appears to be one of the perks to the newly redesigned test!


Fewer Math Topics with No Calculators

Currently the math section includes several topics from algebra, geometry and trigonometry, but the future test will cover fewer topics in greater detail. In addition College Board will restrict the use of calculators on some of the math sections so that students can demonstrate their true understanding of the technique instead of just plugging in the answers.


No Penalty for Wrong Answers

Usually the SAT penalizes students for their wrong answers by taking away ¼ of a point, but now College Board will not deduct any points for incorrect choices. It will now be beneficial for students to guess on a hard question instead of skipping it altogether as that they have a slim chance of guessing the question right without any penalty for wrong answers.


Answers Must Be Supported

While in the past test-takers just had to select answers from multiple choices that most supports their position, future students will have to provide further evidence to corroborate their statements. For example they would have to provide concrete answers and even cite specific passages to strengthen their position.


The Essay is Optional

While the current SAT includes a mandatory 25-minute essay, College Board decided that it doesn’t help to predict student’s future capabilities in college in any way. Therefore they are making the essay portion of the test optional and grading it separately from the test. However colleges get to decide whether they want to require an essay for their applications.

College Board claims that the newest version of the test is more practical and fair,and it will test the knowledge that is most important to prepare students for the rigors of college. What are your thoughts on the new format of the SATs?

Feedback Junction

Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

I am well past ever having to worry about the SAT's again...but I wonder how kids today feel about this test? Is it better to encourage students to guess without a penalty? Does it help to know your wrong answers won't bring down your score? While the vocab section seemed arbitrary, it was intended to test the limits of your communication skills. Now it sounds as if it will focus less on vocabulary and more on vernacular, is this a change for the better? Is it dumbing down the test? The same with math: the test didn't anticipate a student would know all the answers or proofs, it was intended to test the limits of skill and knowledge. By focusing on just several disciplines is the test simply creating it's own limits as the expense of what a student really knows? And finally, by requiring students to explain and support answers, especially after encouraging guess-work, does this make the test more subjective? The same with the essay: will students plan to tackle the essay now that it's optional? I always thought the essay was the one part of the test where a student could demonstrate some solid logical thinking and expression, go outside the box of the test, again push the limits of the test's expectations. Will it help to know you don't need to do this? Especially today when most of us communicate in short-hand, or are limited to a number of characters, would it not help to demonstrate that you can construct sentences and arrange them into paragraphs that follow logically to a conclusion? Just wondering what the kids think? They take the test, they have to deal with the score, make life decisions based on this number; what do they think?i

I have to agree fully with Jennapher. I thought that SATs are to prove within a reasonable level whether the students have enough school/life experiences to go through with college learning. What is the point of going on to college if the student doesn't have all of the education to get all the way through the college year(s). Isn't that doing more harm than good if the student isn't educationally ready to continue into college education? Please don't do this to our children. Isn't our goals to encourage them to be the best they can be? This isn't the way to aid them in life lessons. Shame on the people who are doing this to our children!!!

As a teenage girl in high school, I can tell you that when I take the SAT's, I will still be nervous. I don't see the test as dumbing anything down, I see it as embracing more simplistic and essential ideas. Don't you want your kids to go to college? To get in? Well wouldn't you be really annoyed if your child didn't get into a college because they didn't know what words like Arbitrary or Enigmatic mean. I prefer tests on paper to digital, and my education is expansive, but with all the newest culture and exposure that teenagers receive is much more different from what it used to be. Even comparing a student from 2006 to now, there is a large difference. Teenagers learn different things, ideas have evolved and so must the way the evaluate those ideas. The College Board knows what they're doing, this is what they work for. The new system won't promote laziness or moronic behaviors. No, instead it will shed some of the increasingly heavy weights that are upon the teen generation currently. At least I sure hope so. I'm a freshman and I still have 5 hours of homework a night, and the expectation to actually do things and take care of others. I'm busy from 5am to 6pm, then have homework until 11pm. Then I can finally sleep. The stress gave me so much anxiety I developed extreme depression and was diagnosed with severe anxiety, severe depression, I began to self harm out of fear of my own incapacity to do things, and I became anorexic because I never had the time to eat. Yet, until the nurse realized something was wrong, adults around me (teachers , family, etc.) were expecting good grades, lots of friends, teenager mood swings, constant hunger, and chores to be done. 1/6 teenagers is like that^ because of the standards forced upon us. The SAT remodel is made so it matches the outline of the school system. Odd and Stressing, but will never truely change.

i really like the new remodeling of the test, however I think that the one problem will be preparation. Until 2015, kids will have been able to have an endless amount of practice tests and study books to prepare for the test. Seeing that I will be taking it in 2016, I'm nervous that I will have much less of an idea as to what the test will be like.

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