SAT Changes Coming in 2016
March 27, 2014
The Spring SAT in 2016 will be completely redesigned and restructured, according to collegeboard.org, mostly to the benefit of the student.
Currently students lose points for wrong answers, must write an essay in 50 minutes and face irrelevant words such as “regatta.”
After 2016 this will all change: students will not lose points for incorrect answers, the essay is optional and the SAT will consist of relevant words and real world scenarios according to collegeboard.org.
The essay may be optional, but some colleges will still require you take it. I’m sure Harvard wouldn’t accept someone that would skip the essay portion of the test.
Before giving my opinion, I will state my bias: I am a sophomore (class of 2016), and therefore will not be affected by these changes. I am disappointed I will not get to experience the refined SATs. Writing a strong, on-topic, five-paragraph essay in 50 minutes is difficult. Along with the essay comes the pressure of getting a question wrong.
Growing up, all of my teachers told us to fill in every answer because we just may get it right. After going through that training, facing the PSATs was a jolt to the anxiety meter. Just leaving a row of bubbles blank felt as if I were leaving the page naked. Knowing that three of the four answers will deduct points from your imaginary perfect score is nerve wracking.
The difference from current SAT questions and real world scenario questions involve finding the circumference of an apple or fencing a vegetable garden. Why in the world would you find the circumference of the apple before eating it? The vegetable garden is much more helpful as it may be used later in life.
While I agree with all of the proposed changes to the SATs, I do not understand why these changes cannot go into effect until 2016. I would prefer to have the essay optional on the test so that I can focus more on my nervous meltdown that is the mathematics short answer section.
The whole idea of the SATs is scary, you need this one test for colleges to see how prepared you are to move up in life. Why put so much pressure on one test? Heck, we might as well host the Hunger Games and the winner gets to go to MIT.
All in all, I am relieved the SAT will be changed, although disappointed it will not affect myself, only the lucky freshmen.