Point: Are SAT changes a step in the right direction?

Delia Rush, Staff Writer

The SAT is being revised to test material that is more relative to college acceptances as well as what is taught during high school.  This would be a change from the dreaded SAT of today, which tests subjects that aren’t necessarily focused on in school.

The College Board is trying to focus more on testing the long-term skills on the SAT.

Rather than using flash cards, and attempting to memorize the definitions of two hundred plus words that they’ll never use again, students will be asked the meanings of words based off of context clues.

These words are more commonly used in the college and professional setting and having to study the definitions this way expands the vocabulary of students across the United States.

“The new format of the SAT will more clearly test the knowledge that we have learned in school and will need throughout our life,” said sophomore Jessie Baer.  “This new format will be more beneficial for students taking the test, especially since there aren’t any penalties for wrong answers.”

The Evidence-Based Reading and Writing section now asks those taking the test to include a quote from the passage explaining the reasoning for the answer they chose, thereby incorporating the reading comprehension practiced in a school environment.

This is also included in the optional essay that adds about an extra 50 minutes to the testing time of those who decide to take it.

According to College Board, “The essay prompt will be shared in advance and remain consistent.  Only the source material (passage) will change.”

This allows students to better prepare for the essay knowing what is expected of them.

The goal of  the College Board is to put less of a burden on the students and families of the students taking the SAT by making the material correspond with the material tested in school as well.

Today, the SAT requires odd testing tricks and techniques, having to learn a heaping amount of information on the test and how to take it, all on top of regular schoolwork.

Learning all of the SAT tricks can cost hundreds of dollars, from personal tutors, to review classes, to the review books: the SAT is expensive and is sometimes referred to as “the rich kid test,” which is upsetting because scores on a nation-wide test should not be impacted by income.

But sadly, those who can afford the expensive preparation tend to get higher scores, thus they get more college and job opportunities and creating further inequity.

“I think they’re changing it because the ACT is becoming more popular and tends to be easier to prepare for”, said senior Emily Youner.  “But I think that it’s good that less fortunate kids will have more college choices because the changes could improve their scores without having to pay a ridiculous amount of money for prep classes.”

Because of the more comprehendible questions, material, and format, preparation will ideally become easier, thus less expensive.

College Board’s new changes are better for high school students and colleges everywhere.