Major Changes Coming to the SAT

A change is coming to the SAT college admissions exam. The essay portion of the SAT is to become optional. The college board, the board responsible for developing the exam, has confirmed these new changes, scheduled to take effect in 2016:

  • The essay portion of the exam will be a supplemental option, similar to its ACT counterpart
  • Only the reading and mathematics portions will be required
  • Perfect score will return to 1600 instead of 2400
  • There will be no wrong answer penalty

The college board has mentioned that these changes are in consideration of a correlation between higher family income and higher test scores. This means that more students able to afford private SAT tutoring services were scoring higher on the exam. So the changes are to give an edge to all students.

Perhaps the biggest question being asked is what are the universities thinking about this. The college board says that student’s writing skills will be gauged in the multiple choice portions of the exam, discouraging claims that writing is not important. But different Universities have different requirements for college admissions and some have their own ways of determining writing ability. Some universities might just make the writing portion mandatory, depending on where that student is applying for college.

What do you think about the changes that are coming to the SAT? How do you think removing the writing portion of the exam will affect college admissions?

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(Featured image: Rui Vieira/Press Association)

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