SAT Takes a New Turn

Sravya Kotha, Staff Writer / Artist

As if high school students need to add something else onto their “stress list,” one of the nation’s most important college admissions test makers, College Board, is planning to make radical changes to its format. College Board President David Coleman announced this month that “SAT would be undergoing [the most] significant redesign” since 2005, according to Elite Educational Institute. The new and improved test will be administered in Spring 2016. provides major modifications: scaled down score from 2400 to 1600, optional essay, no deduction for incorrect answers, two sections (Evidence-based Reading and Writing, Math), vocabulary based on colloquial college speech, and no calculator for some math sections. Essays are to “analyze” and explain how the “author builds an argument,” using specific pieces of evidence to support the author’s claim.

  For those who are taking the test in the Spring of 2016, there is also the option of taking the traditional SAT or the newer version, either electronically “at selected locations” or by print. The test will now be more realistic in terms of preparation for college, but the class of 2017 is pretty much the “guinea pigs” for this experiment.

  Students at West High have some mixed opinions about this new test. Team Chainiwatana (10) thinks “the new test will be relatively easier, in my opinion, because the format of the test is designed more like our new Common Core standards. Also, I think that the vocabulary section will be much easier and useful because they are going to be words from day-to-day usage.” However, students like Kristina Ramos (12), who has already taken the current SAT test complains, “It bothers me so much that I didn’t get the change. I would have totally taken the newer version if I had the chance.”

  Most students touted the new changes as a good sign. Students are expected to be tested more accurately on  their actual academic skills on this redesigned version because of its similarity to the Common Core standards. But in turn, this drastic change may lead up to greater competition than ever. Good luck to the future SAT takers!