by OLIVIA DEGAN
As of March 5, 2016, the SAT will be almost completely redesigned. This new SAT will contain an optional essay section, no penalty for guessing, and as described by CollegeBoard, “no vocab that you’ll never use again.” This new SAT is only 3 hours long, with an additional 50 minutes if the test taker chooses to write the essay. New SAT scores will be calculated on a 400 to 1600 point scale, and all questions will have four answer choices. The essay is not calculated as part of the writing score. Also, this new SAT is available in a digital format.
Although the new SAT is becoming more convenient for students and teachers alike, its new features are quite controversial. In an article by Dan Edmonds for Forbes Magazine, the new SAT and its downfalls are explained. Firstly, it’ll be very difficult for students who are planning to take the SAT to prepare for the new one. Because there are no previous new SATs to practice with, students are unable to take practice SATs that will be helpful and similar to the new ones. Another problem with the new SAT is the results for the March SAT cannot be reported until after the May SAT to be sure that the new SAT is a good way to measure a student’s academic capabilities. Students who took the March SAT of 2016 and plan to take another in May cannot see their scores before taking the second new SAT. This will keep students from improving because they will be unable to know what they might have gotten wrong and will not know what new information they need to study in time for the SAT in May.
Because these faults are somewhat trivial, many students will continue to opt to take the exam. The SAT is a required score that is needed and considered on applications for many colleges and is a great way to find what a student is capable of or may know. The SAT was and will likely continue to be a useful and necessary test for many high schoolers and college applications alike.