New SAT Changes Coming in Spring 2016

The new SAT to be administered in March for the first time won’t penalize students for wrong answers, will offer them the option of writing an essay and will no longer test for vocabulary words they likely haven’t heard, according to the College Board and a local education official.

The College Board presented changes to the SAT in March 2014, when President David Coleman said the new exam would be “more focused and useful, more clear and open than ever before,” according to a news release.

One of the key changes is that the SAT will focus on words students consistently use in college and beyond, but not words they probably haven’t heard before and won’t likely hear again, the release said.

The math section will focus on three areas: problem solving and data analysis; mastery of linear equations; and familiarity with more complex equations, the school board presentation said.

Students are expected to have about three hours for the math and evidence-based reading and writing sections, with another 50 minutes to do an optional essay. The essay was required previously.

The College Board has partnered with Khan Academy to provide online SAT preparation programs and resources for free. Those resources, including thousands of practice problems, became available in June, the presentation said.

While students can take the SAT now, the one that counts for colleges — for this year’s juniors — is the new one coming out in March, 2016.

Source: School juniors to take new SAT in March, Julie E. Greene, Herald Media