New SAT changes aim to level the playing field

They are the three letters that strike fear and anxiety in high school students and their parents: S-A-T.

Some have called the test, widely used as a key factor in college admissions, biased, unfair and out of touch. In response the college board announced big changes to the exam.

“Exams will measure the work students are doing in class. The work that prepares them for career success,” College Board President David Coleman announced.

By 2016 the test it will be available in both paper and digital forms. It’s returning to a score scale of 1600 and the essay portion will be optional.

The current penalty for wrong answers will be removed, eliminating the risk of guessing.

Obscure vocabulary words will also be erased, replaced by more practical words like “synthesis” and “empirical.”

Calculator use will be limited, and there will be more of a focus on analyzing text and asking students to refer to real world examples and documents.

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