Earlier today, College Board announced significant changes to the SAT which will go into effect in 2016. In announcing the changes, David Coleman, President of College Board, said that the SAT should offer “worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles.” The changes to the SAT are intended to make it more directly related to what students are studying in high school and the skills they are expected to need in college and the work place.
The changes include the following:
- The score scale will be restored to 1600 from 2400, with a separate score for the essay.
- The essay will be optional.
- Vocabulary will be revised to favor more commonly used words in college and the work place.
- The math section will focus on three areas found to contribute to college readiness and career training.
- Use of a calculator will be permitted on some portions of the math section, not for the entire section as is currently allowed.
- The current 1/4 point penalty for wrong answers will be eliminated.
- The test will be available in both paper and digital format.
In an effort to provide greater access to test prep, College Board has partnered with the non profit, Khan Academy, to provide free test prep beginning in spring 2015. In addition, students taking the current SAT can now benefit from test prep available from Khan Academy.
College Board also announced income-eligible students talking the SAT will receive four college application fee waivers.