SAT Changes Biggest in a Decade

As the SAT prepares to release a revised version of the college entrance exam in March 2016, some in the education industry are calling the changes the biggest revisions in a decade.

Kristin Decarr reported for EducationNews that the biggest changes are set for the math portion of the test, which now places a heavier emphasis on reading comprehension through real-world examples. The math revisions also are aligned with Common Core.

“It’s going to change who does well,” said Lee Weiss, a vice president at one of the nation’s biggest test-preparation programs. “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.”

In addition, the reading passages are longer and harder to read. Now focusing on evidence-based reading and writing, the test will feature historical documents like the writings of Mohandas Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr.

“The older version featured short sentence-completion questions,” wrote Decarr. “The new exam has replaced these questions in favor of longer reading passages from novels and political sources made up of sophisticated words and thoughts.”

The creators of the SAT said they were prompted to make the changes because of complaints that the exam favored whites and Asians, as well as those with higher parental incomes. 2015 was the first year that the ACT surpassed the SAT in usage.

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