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The SAT I Gets A Makeover

“While the SAT is the best standardized measure of college and career readiness currently available, the College Board has a responsibility to the millions of students we serve each year to ensure that our programs are continuously evaluated and enhanced, and most importantly, respond to the emerging needs of those we serve.” – David Coleman, President of the College Board

Last week the College Board announced that work will begin to revise the SAT I to better align the test with the current Core Curriculum standards and “to better connect the test to the kind of academic work expected of students in high school and college.” The SAT I was last revised in 2005 by adding a written essay section and eliminating the analogy section, thus turning the SAT I from a 1600 maximum score in two sections to a 2400 maximum score in three sections. 

Though the College Board hasn't yet provided details about the coming changes, there is speculation that the biggest changes will be to the essay section. It is being suggested that the real motivation behind the proposed changes is competitive in nature, keeping up with the rising popularity and acceptance of the ACT in traditionally SAT favored regions of the country (the East Coast and the West Coast). This redesign comes as the SAT is starting to lose market share to the ACT, which surpassed the SAT in the number of test takers for the first time in 2011, causing predictions that the SAT might see changes in the near future. There is not a projected date for the new SAT I to be introduced.

All Rivermont 11th Grade students are required to take both the SAT I and the ACT, thereby positioning them to apply to the widest variety of colleges and universities. Changes to the SAT I likely will not roll out for a couple of years, so current 9th-12th Grade students probably won’t be affected. Today’s Middle School students, however, should pay attention! We will be following the revision of the SAT I closely and preparing our students to meet the challenges of the new exam.

Bonnie Campbell, College Counselor

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