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
Along with this redesign (effective March 2016), the College Board has announced several changes that may be relevant to your future testing plans.
- 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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