In high school movies, the SAT is the bane of every student’s existence. The amount of vocabulary words seemingly required and the difficulty of the math problems may not be as horrible as often portrayed, but the big exam still incites fear in many high schoolers.
But that is all set to change. The SAT as we know it will be retired after the Jan. 23 test, and will be replaced with a brand new reformed version. The new SAT will be graded on a 1600-point scale, won’t require the knowledge of “SAT words,” and will no longer deduct points for wrong answers.
The current SAT is not an exam anyone looks forward to taking, and students are glad that changes are being made to its format.
“I would like to see questions related more to our curriculum, and instead of having to memorize thousands of words, maybe questions where you have to figure out the meaning of a word just based on context,” said junior Mehak Grewal.
Junior Leah Procita also thinks that the English section should change.
“I’m glad the essay will be optional now, and I hope that it will be less about how fast you can scan an article and memorize vocabulary, and more about actually testing your reading comprehension,” she said.
However, some things about the test will stay the same, to the dismay of students.
“I wish they would make the test less expensive,” said junior Emujin Unenbat, “so that everyone can get an equal opportunity. For people with a low household income, taking the test just once may not be easy financially, and retaking the test to improve their scores could be impossible.”
The SAT currently costs $54.50, and that price will not change anytime soon.
Counselor Jamie Wilson wants students to know that many free resources will be available to help prepare them for the test.
“I hope that students will take advantage of the SAT preparation resources that are offered. For example, Khan Academy offers free SAT practice available at satpractice.org,” said Wilson. “There is also a ‘Daily Practice for the New SAT’ mobile app, available for iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch) and Android devices (phones and tablets).”
According to the College Board, the new SAT will relate more to what is actually being taught in American classrooms and will correspond with the Common Core standards.
However, there are seven states that are not adopting Common Core. How well will students from those states do on the new SAT? And how well is the Common Core material being taught in states that have adapted it? We’ll find out when scores from the new SAT are published next year.
Wilson, for one, is optimistic: “I have a lot of faith in the students of CVHS. The important thing is for students to try their best, use the resources available to them, and ultimately remember that colleges are interested in more than just grades and test scores.”