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The new SAT is here! Take a peek at what's inside that crazy booklet

Last year, college entrance test distributor College Board announced it was going to overhaul the SAT. And guess what, girlies? The new SAT is officially here. The revised exam is meant to be more reflective of actual high school academics, per The Atlantic. The new test will hit schools in 2016, and here’s what’s changing…

Different scoring

Prior to 2005, the exam used a 1600-point scale. Currently, with the writing portion, the test is scored out of 2400 possible points. Come 2016, the SAT will return to the 1600-point scale, but this time around, test takers will not lose points for a wrong answer. Currently, students lose a quarter point for every wrong answer, but lose nothing for leaving an answer blank. This new scoring system is intended to encourage students to answer every question, whether they know it or not.

Optional essay

Ever since it was introduced in ’05, the essay has been controversial. No one could decide if it was useful or not, and a lot of colleges decided to throw out that section of the test score anyway. Well, not much has changed. The essay will now be optional and be scored separately. It will also now ask students to analyze provided evidence, and will score the writing based on the quality of the analysis and coherence of the writing. Previously, students answered a prompt based on their own knowledge and experience. The essay time limit has also doubled from 25 minutes to 50 minutes.

No more 25-cent words

Forget the SAT vocabulary flash cards. Words like “synthesis” and “empirical” will be stricken from the test in favor of vocab words that are more widely used during college courses and later careers. We’re a little sad about this one—there are lots of good words on those cards!

Reading comprehension passages get a revision

Each exam will now feature a “founding document” (the College Board cites the Declaration of Independence and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech as examples), as well as historical and scientific material. There will be more data-based questions focused on analysis and comparison.

Getting’ techie

The SAT will also now be offered in both print and digital formats, which means you might get a chance to toss the number-2 pencil. Calculators will be barred from certain math sections. And one great new thing: the College Board will be partnering with free online educator Khan Academy to provide totally free online test prep. Woohoo!

What do you think of these new changes, babe? Tell us in the comments!


by Brittany Taylor | 2/1/2016
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