Last weekend, the College Board introduced a totally revamped SAT. The major changes include:
- Return to two sections instead of three sections: (a) evidence-based reading and writing; and (b) math
- Return to maximum score of 1600 instead of 2400
- Words in context instead of esoteric vocabulary
- No penalty for wrong answers
- Optional essay (though highly recommended)
- Free online test prep through College Board’s partnership with Khan Academy
- Effective summer 2017, an August test date will replace the January test date. The College Board will offer a new test date in August 2017, and will remove the test date in January 2018; as such, there will continue to be seven SATs each year, and the March test date will not offer Subject Tests (as at present). The new schedule will be as follows:
March (no Subject Tests)
- Effective May 2016, the College Board will make 3-4 official tests available through Khan Academy at no extra charge, as soon as scores are released. Presently, the College Board has made test booklets available through the QAS (Question-and-Answer) service. It is not clear whether the QAS service will continue.
- There will be delays in score reporting for at least the first three new SAT administrations in 2016. Scores from the March 5th SAT will be available mid-May, scores from the May 7th SAT will be available mid-June, and scores from the June 4th SAT will be available mid-July. Previously, scores were available online 19 days from the test date.
The landscape of standardized testing evolves continually and, in the case of this new SAT, significantly: test experts continue to weigh the impact of the test’s increased emphasis on reading comprehension. In a recent NYT article, Jed Appelrouth, founder of a national tutoring service, estimated that the new math test was “50 percent reading comprehension.” In a separate blog post, he added that “students will need to learn how to wade through all the language to isolate the math.”
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