Friday, March 7, 2014

College Board announces major changes to the SAT

College Board announced on Wednesday major changes to the SAT. The association that heads the standardized test noted that it does not focus on major academic skills and has "become disconnected from the work of our high schools." In order to give students a test that will prepare them college, the test has been changed to reinstate the 1600-point scoring scale (rather than the 2400-point scale), eliminated essays, replaced obscure and uncommon vocabulary words with words more frequently used in college courses, and has ended the penalty for inputting the wrong answer.

Besides changing the test the College Board has also created several initiatives to give more support to students from disadvantaged backgrounds, such as giving every income-eligible student four fee waivers to apply to college. Furthermore, the association has noted that students who cannot afford test-prepatory courses are typically at a disadvantage; in order to combat this disadvantage, the College Board is teaming up with Khan Academy, a non-profit educational organization that provides free lessons online, to offer free SAT preparatory courses to every student via the Internet. Through their partnership with Khan Academy, the College Board hopes to close the wealth gap and quiet any critics who say that standardized test unintentionally favors students who can afford courses.

To read more about the changes to the SAT, check out these articles by The New York Times and US News. What do you think about the new SAT? What about College Board's partnership with Khan Academy? Let us know!