SAT revamped

The SAT test has been given a facelift, the first of its kind in years, but the changes appear to have been made for the betterment of students.

The new SAT will be a three hour, 1,600-point test centered around evidence-based reading and quantitative/overall-advanced math skills. There will now be some science and social studies analysis on the test, also. The essay that once accompanied the test will now be optional, though SHS counselor Mrs. Tricia Bender says it will be highly recommended.

This is the first SAT change in almost 30 years, according to Bender. She says that the College Board, the group that develops the test, made the changes to aid students.

“After talking to multiple colleges from across the nation, and their enrollment specialists, they wanted to make sure that they were accurately representing what students are learning,” Bender said.

Bender also says that the College Board feels as if the test is more “grounded in real world scenarios” than it was before, and that the test better suits the teaching and learning styles being used in today’s classrooms.

The College Board website says  “When students open their SAT test books in March 2016, they’ll encounter tests that are more focused and useful than ever before.”

As the College Board site states, the new SAT will not come into effect until March of 2016. However, this October’s PSAT will already model the new test.

Students on free or reduced lunch or involved in 21st century scholars will be able to take the SAT free of charge.

Another large change in the format of the SAT is that now, students will be allowed to guess on a question without having to worry about getting counted off for it, as opposed to the previous version. Bender says this mirrors the ACT test more than it did before.

SHS senior Kaylee Collins says she feels as if this change gives students who are new to taking the SAT a bit of an advantage over students that have taken the test in the past.

“I think it’s kind of unfair to everyone that has taken the test prior to the change because now you can get a higher score,” Collins said.

Collins says she still thinks the change is a good one though, as she still likes that it might help those new SAT takers.

“I think it’s great for the people taking it after the change because it makes the test slightly easier,” Collins said.

Collins and other future students SAT test takers have the ability to prep online beforehand with a newly introduced site.

The site is called Khan Academy, a free online program that the College Board is now partnered with. Bender says it’s recommended that students use it to properly prepare for the new test.