Starting this March, students will have to deal with longer reading passages and more word problems in the new SAT test. According to a report by New York Times, this is the “biggest redesign in a decade, and one of the most substantial ever.”
In addition to more words, the test will also revert back to a 1600- point scale rather than 2400, there will be no guessing penalty and the multiple choice options will dwindle down from five to four, according to Time.
Many critics argue that the new changes will prove to be a disadvantage to students who may not have an expansive vocabulary, or for students whose primary language is not English.
“Before, if you were a student from a family where English was not the first language, you could really excel on the math side. It may be harder in the administration of this new test to decipher that, because there is so much text on both sides of the exam,” president of precollege programs at Kaplan Test Prep Lee Weiss said.
However, the College Board argues that word count on the test stayed roughly the same on both ends of the test (around 3,000 words), and that students won’t be in for a surprise when test time comes.
“We are very mindful of the verbal load on this test. We are keeping it down. I think kids are going to find it comfortable and familiar. Everything about the test is publicly available. There are no mysteries<?” chief of assessment at College Board Cyndie Schmeiser said.
Students always have the option to take to take the ACT, which differs from its rival in the sense that there is a science section included. Both tests are accepted in college admissions.
To see how the new changes are like in action and how you would fare, take the New York Times interactive test.