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The New SAT Is The Old SAT: Details On Changes To The Test
College Board President David Coleman attends an announcement event, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Austin, Texas where College Board officials  announced updates for the SAT college entrance exam, the first since 2005, that are needed to make the exam a College Board a better representative of what students study in high school and the skills they need to succeed in college and afterward. (AP)

College Board President David Coleman attends an announcement event, Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in Austin, Texas where College Board officials announced updates for the SAT college entrance exam, the first since 2005, that are needed to make the exam a College Board a better representative of what students study in high school and the skills they need to succeed in college and afterward. (AP)

The announcement Wednesday that the College Board would be changing the way it administers its college admission exam the SAT sent the recently-graduated world a buzz. The pricey college test prep market — not to mention the legions of current high school students diligently preparing to take the test that only might determine the rest of their lives (we kid, we kid) — make the College Board’s proposed changes a big story.

Thankfully, we were lucky enough to have Chronicle of Higher Education senior writer Eric Hoover explain the many changes for us, and answer a few listener questions about the specifics of the SAT tweaks.

Highlights of the Interview

The A.C.T. is catching up on the SAT. “You used to see a regional breakdown. The A.C.T. has become much more of a national test.”

New leadership at the College Board reflects new priorities. “Is the test more closely tethered to skills that they’re honing in high school and that they’ll clearly need in college?”

The SAT is still the SAT. “If you think of the SAT as a car travelling through time, it’s still the same car.”

— Evidence is more important. “You’re now gonna have to show, ‘here’s the right answer,’ and ‘here’s what got me to that answer.”

The math section is focusing on the core. “The new strategy is to cover less of a wide area, but drill down deeper on a handful of core math topics.”

The College Board is taking on test prep. “People are potentially optimistic for the test-prep partnership with the Khan Academy to level the playing field.

1600 is the old 2400. The SAT is reverting back to the 1600 point scoring system, and no longer punishes takers for incorrect answers.

What do you think of the SAT changes? Will it make a difference? Do you agree with our caller who said the test has an income-level discrimination at its core?

 

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