If you haven’t heard about the new changes in store for the SAT exam in 2016, then perhaps you have been out of touch with all media outlets. Granted, I have more exposure to things college related than the average person, but I am amazed by how much media coverage this issue is receiving! In summary, the planned changes include:
- A return to a two section, 1600 point total with the essay section becoming “optional”.
- The material is intended to align more closely with the standard core being implemented in high schools across the country (including adding material that incorporates science subject matter).
- Incorrect answers will no longer be counted as negative points.
- Khan Academy will provide free on-line test prep materials.
The ideals presented by the CollegeBoard are admirable. They are trying to make the test less aligned to a student’s family income. I applaud this attempt. The unfortunate thing is that they are proposing a new test that almost identically mirrors the format and material of the “other” college entrance standardized test – the ACT. In 2016, instead of students having two tests to try to see which better suits them, there will be only one type of test to take. It is good for students to have two different test formats available to them – I always advise that a student try them both and use the one that works better for them. Starting in 2016 a student probably won’t see much of a difference between the results of one test versus the other. The days of having a choice of formats will be gone. There will be even more standardization in the world of standardized testing – and we’re supposed to be happy about that?