New SAT changes will impact this year’s freshman class

How+will+they+fair%3F++The+new+SAT+is+poised+to+effect+students+of+this+year%27s+freshman+class+%28pictured+above%3A+in+science+class%29.++Most+students+welcome+the+changes+with+open+arms.++

Photo Credit: Anna Lis

How will they fair? The new SAT is poised to effect students of this year’s freshman class (pictured above: in science class). Most students welcome the changes with open arms.

by Josh Stein, Graphic Designer

There will be a new testing format for the SAT in 2016, which has been redesigned to showcase college and workforce preparedness, The College Board announced on Wednesday.

The ‘new’ SAT includes reworked vocabulary words that are more common to be found in college courses.  Lesser known ‘SAT words’ will be removed.

The math questions have been refined to assess linear equations, functions, and proportional thinking. The new SAT focuses on analysis and specific skills, rather than a general test as it is now.

The SAT was last revised in 2005, when students were required to write an essay and complete a grammar section, raising the highest possible scoring to a 2,400 (as opposed to a 1,600). For the new SAT, students have the option to write an essay. According to a recent New York Times Article, “He [David Colemen, president of The College Board] announced plans to revise the SAT a year ago and almost from the start expressed dissatisfaction with the essay that was added in 2005.”

The test will be available in the spring of 2016. This year’s freshmen will be the first to experience the changes as a class.  Nevertheless, many students have found the changes to be positive: “I think it’s going to be less stressful for students,” said sophomore student Tyler Reed, who will be taking the exam next year prior to the sweeping changes.

But with only two years for educators to prepare, The College Board released blueprints of the exam to aid students.

According to The College Board website, “We are redesigning the exam to be focused, useful, open, and clear, and we’re linking it to your most challenging classes.”

This new revision of the exam has received positive feedback from the student body at Glen Rock High School.

Many of the freshmen feel positively with this new change. According to freshman student Luke Teresi, who carries a 4.0 GPA, there is at least one change to look forward to. “I like the new format because I don’t have to write an essay,” he said.

Other students, even those who wouldn’t benefit from the changes, took up the cause.

“It’s a good idea because [the essay] is interpreted by a third party who doesn’t exactly know what you’re trying to say,” said sophomore student Joe Helzinger.

Glen Rock’s teachers were largely supportive of the changes.

“In terms of the mathematical sections, I think it’s good that the questions will be new representative[s] of what students see in the class,” said Mr. Corby, math teacher, “and it will no longer be a measure of how good students are applying testing strategies.”

These changes, however, may add even more complexity to the college admissions process. Will colleges have bias towards students who have applied with an essay versus those who opted out of writing the essay? Perhaps only time will tell.