Redesigned SAT Reduces Stress and Anxiety in San Diego Students

SAT Reforms for the 2nd Time in 11 Years

College Board SAT

Hours of studying 14 letter words and strenuous calculus questions are over. The College Board will be releasing the redesigned SAT on March 5th. It has been revived and is ready for your number two pencil.

So what prompted the sudden change? Well, this is hardly the first time that the SAT has undergone structural changes. Back in 2005, the 2400 point SAT was implemented, in which students were tested in 3 800 point categories: Math, Critical Reading, and Writing. However now, members of the College Board agree that the 800 point test is disconnected from real world situations, making the answers nearly impossible to be drawn out of context.

Changes have been made in regards to scoring and format. The new SAT will revert back to the original 1600 point score with an optional essay section for those confident in their writing skills. The College Board believes this new version will be more user-friendly than the previous one. Though the new format goes into effect this Friday, students already appear to approve of the changes. "When I took the SAT in January, all the paragraphs were about things I had never heard of before," Emily Rowan, a junior at Cathedral Catholic High School, said, "It seemed so advanced that I thought I didn’t study enough."

According to the College Board, the Reading and Language sections of the exam now test realistic vocabulary used in everyday life and reading comprehension. The questions are now centered around subjects students would have studied in their core classes, whether it be a historical time period or a scientific thinker. In the past, reading comprehension questions varied widely; some asked about cars or swimming, or even the performing arts. This change requires one to analyze rather than synthesize. 

"I felt that the redesigned questions tended to be easier for myself... and the students. The reading portion calls on students to analyze tone, theme, and fundamentals taught in English Composition classes,” AVID teacher at Cathedral Catholic High School, Mrs. Christy Bailleul, said. 

The math portion will be broken down and consists of Problem Solving and Data Analysis, Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math. Each math portion has its purpose to aid in daily life. Both Problem Solving and Data Analysis focus on quantitative reasoning skills regarding ratios and percentages. The Heart of Algebra problems test basic linear equations and systems. Finally, Passport to Advanced Math assesses college preparatory equations. 

The SAT scoring has reverted to its original 1600 scale. Math will be calculated within a 200 to 800 point spectrum. The Reading and Writing sections will now be a combined score ranging from 200 to 800 points. The optional essay is worth 2 to 8 points, and will be based on your ability to confine your thoughts into a concise and clear fashion. 

While classrooms have changed since the last SAT revamp, the new one is aimed for a decrease in stress level, and a greater outcome for students around the country. Everyone here at FINE magazine wishes the best of luck to all high school test takers breaking in the new exam on March 5th!