The snow may melt slowly, but the end of the school year quickly approaches as seniors make post-high school plans and juniors prepare for senior year. An integral part of the high school process is standardize tests, specifically the SATs, which are not mandatory, but might as well be. Students generally need to submit a SAT score or ACT score for college admission.
As many juniors prepare to take the SATs, they will complete the test now knowing that revisions loom in the future. The College Board, the makers of the SAT, plan to change the test. The changes would go into effect in 2016 and will mostly affect the current freshman class and those classes after them.
Some of the changes according to the College Board include:
Scores will now be out of 1600 instead of 2400, for the evidence-based reading and writing portion and the math only.
The essay portion will be optional and receive a separate score.
Relevant vocabulary words will be tested instead of “words that are sometimes obscure.”
No penalty for wrong answers will be given for wrong answers.
The SAT will be offered in print and on computer (at select locations).
Questions will now include an analysis of social studies and science documents.
The math section will be more concentrated on practical math and calculator use will be limited.
The test is shorter, about three hours without the essay.
The College Board also plans to make more resources available to every student by offering free SAT preparation and sample tests and sponsoring up to four waivers on college applications for low-income students. A sample of the new test will be available on April 16.
Students at Central York High School weighed in on the upcoming changes:
–“They had to change it at some point,” said senior Chris Schmidt. “I’m kind of mad we had to take it (already), but for future generations, it’s better.”
–“I think it’s stupid because everyone that already took it studied hard and now they have changed them,” said senior Jordan Ettien.
–“I think it’s better.” said junior Ryan Moran, who thinks the current system puts too much pressure on people. “I think it’s smart what they are doing, but I take the test on Saturday and it’s going to be awful.”
–“I’m glad they are changing them, but it’s not for another two years,” said junior Nick Swanson. “I wish they would’ve said ‘hey, we changed them’ in 2016 instead of teasing that they are going to come out.”
–“It shows how our generation is declining mentally,” said sophomore Olivia Johnson. “I feel like with the new rules people aren’t being challenged as much.”
–“It’s not fair. It makes me feel like they are dumbing it down and expect less from us,” said freshman Morgan Hose.
–“I’d rather take it the way it is now because I’ve started looking at colleges and what I need to get in,” said freshman Nathan Holtzinger.
The question on nearly everyone’s mind: “Are colleges going to change their standards and the significance of the test?”