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Coming Soon (Well, 2016): Big Changes to the SAT®

As many of you have heard, the College Board announced significant changes to the SAT this past Wednesday, causing a ripple and extensive discussion throughout high schools and colleges across the nation. The organization hopes to transform the test to better match the subject matter and skills that students have learned in high school and to eliminate some of the mystery surrounding the test content and how to best prepare.

The changes won’t take place until the spring of 2016, so current high school juniors and seniors with college admissions on the brain won’t be affected. But students currently in ninth grade or younger should take note of the modifications to the test in preparation for college planning down the road. Here are some highlights:

  • The essay will become optional, and, if submitted, will be scored separately from the rest of the test. Keep in mind that some high school districts and colleges may still opt to require the essay.

  •  Students will no longer lose points for wrong answers, so educated guesses will be encouraged.

  • The test will get rid of obscure, uncommon vocabulary (think “sagacious,” “depreciatory” and “toady”), and focus more on words used in college coursework.

  •  The math section will concentrate more on algebra and problem-solving, and less on the advanced math concepts lesser known to many students (and adults).

  •  The College Board will provide free test prep materials, open to everyone, from Khan Academy, a non-profit that provides free educational online resources.

You can read more about the full extent of the changes, and the reasoning behind them, on the College Board’s website here.

What do you think about the proposed changes to the SAT?  We’d love to hear your thoughts in our comment section below.


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