One of the most seminal and nerve-wracking parts of the college process just received a total facelift. On Wednesday, the College Board released a statement outlining numerous changes they plan on making to the SAT, changes designed to better reflect material taught in high schools. David Coleman, president of College Board, commented that college admission tests in general have “become disconnected from the work of our high schools.”
In an effort to even the playing field, Coleman said that there would now be fee waivers available to low-income students to allow them to apply to four colleges for free. Other changes to the actual test include an easier vocabulary section that is more applicable to the college curriculum. The math section will now cover a broader range of materials and allow calculator use on only a portion of the math section.
The infamous essay has been made optional and the test will be scored out of 1600 rather than 2400 points (like it was prior to the college classes of 2010). There will only be two sections: math (maximum score of 800) and evidence-based reading and writing (maximum score of 800). Students who choose to sit for the essay will receive a separate score. The point penalty for getting questions wrong has also been eliminated.
Coleman pointed out that these changes are part of an effort to relieve some of the pressure high school students and their parents feel when preparing for the SAT, acknowledging the emotional and financial toll the test can put on families. The revamp was also aimed at increasing the popularity of the SAT, which has experienced a decline in recent years as the more academically relevant ACT test has gained momentum.
These changes will arrive in Spring 2016, giving high school students plenty of time to prepare for the new test. The collegiettes at Her Campus want to know what you ladies think: is the new SAT going to be a better judge of success in college or are these changes lowering the standards for college acceptances? Let us know how you feel in the comments below!