In an article published by the New York Times, the College Board announced major SAT changes that will come in effect in Spring 2016:
- a total score of 1600, instead of the current 2400
- 2 subjects – Math and a new section that will be called Evidence-Based Reading & Writing
- elimination of a penalty for guessing wrong
- optional essay
- will focus on linear equations; complex equations or functions; and ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning
- calculators will be permitted on only part of the math section
Reading & Writing Section:
- elimination of “obscure” vocabulary words
- certain questions require students to select a quotation that supports the answer they have chosen
- every exam will include one of the American “founding documents,” such as the Declaration of Independence or the Bill of Rights, or from a discussion of such texts, such as Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”
These SAT changes 2016 reflect the current educational trends happening in schools, which all fall under the umbrella of the Common Core State Standards. The president of the College Board, David Coleman, worked previously as an architect of the Common Core State Standards. The Common Core shifts the emphasis in classroom learning towards critical thinking. In turn, the changes in the SAT reflect a desire to connect the test more closely to the critical thinking students will be doing in the classroom.
The first students to take the new SAT in their junior year are current 9th graders. What do the kids grades 1-9 do they have to expect? They will face the challenge of the new tests, question types, response methods, and classroom teaching methods. Parents, teachers, and students have plenty of time before spring of 2016 to make their adjustments and to get ready for the change.