Standardized Revision


Photo by: Alex Rozbicki

SAT Testing Manuals. The test is undergoing radical change and will be having a big impact on seniors in the up coming years.

David Coleman, president of the College Board, announced that the SAT test will be undergoing major revisions starting in 2016, but students and counselors alike are questioning whether the changes will help future testers or bridge the gap between the increasing popularity of the ACT.

Revisions include replacing rare and obscure vocabulary with simpler, more college preparatory-appropriate words. Test takers will no longer need to remember the definition for words like ‘skulduggery’ and instead rely on a word bank that test-takers are more accustomed to from their current high school work.

Other significant changes have been made to the SAT in order to mirror the ACT. One major change is that the essay, once required for the SAT, will stand as optional for test takers in 2016. Other major changes include the addition of scientific reading passages to the reading section, requiring support from the text to support the answer choice, and a reading section, which will include a founding document or historical letter.

In recent years, the ACT has increased in appeal due to their optional essay and lack of a penalty for guessing. The revisions to the SAT have been speculated to be a response to the growth in popularity of the ACT.

“Money is always an issue. It’s always about money,” said Mr. Thomas Taketa, a counselor at Cam High. “The ACT is now really popular and it’s simply a way to keep up.”

Some students at Cam High have taken both the ACT and SAT in order to compare how they fare on each test, and many have mixed feelings towards the revisions. “Considering I took both [the ACT and SAT], I am disappointed they are now similar,” said Ferris McIntyre, senior. “It’s just making it easier for students who will take the SAT now.”

For those who have already taken the SAT, there will be no changes to scores received before the change in 2016, while new versions will be graded on a 1600 point scale. The optional essay will be graded if the tester chooses to write an essay.