Will the SAT Become Less of a Headache

Lily Newland, Associate Editor

Recently, College Board has announced that they will be making major changes to the current SAT. Starting in June of 2016, the exam is going to be designed to lessen the stress students have in preparation for the test as well as a change in the structure. In doing so, College Board plans to make the connection between the SAT and what is learned in high school less of a detachment.

The first change to the SAT is eliminating the penalty for a wrong answer choice. Students will no longer lose credit on the exam for this, making it easier to achieve a higher score and relinquishing the worry tied to the decision process of answering a question or leaving it blank. This adjustment may also give test takers more time for each individual question. (It is exactly what the ACT has been doing for several years.)

Second, the length of the SAT will be shortened to about 3 hours with an additional fifty minutes for an optional essay. Often times, by the end of the lengthy exam, individuals lose interest and motivation levels become extremely low. (Again the ACT has an essay that doesn’t count towards your score. )

“After SAT prep, I’m at the point of being brain dead. Once I’m finished I just want to do something stupid,” said junior Steph Pissi of Wantagh High School.

Hopefully, this transition will fix the exhaustion resulting from the previous 6 hours, in anticipation that test takers will maintain a clearer mind throughout the duration of the test.

There will also be a maximum three sections on the updated SAT: Evidence-Based Reading and Writing, Math, and the Essay. This is a huge revision considering the 10 sections and required essay that students are subjected to today. Also the scoring will now be based on a 400 to 1600 point scale, with the optional essay scoring separate.

“I believe with these changes building up your own score will be a lot more possible, you will have more control over how well you do, and it’ll be a better test of personal knowledge,” said Lucy Bailey, a Wantagh High School junior.

Overall, it seems that College Board is really trying to improve the SAT, an exam that is a huge factor in deciding many students’ road to college. It is critical that a test of such importance be made to extract test scores that directly correlate to individual ability. With the new SAT, it is the hope