You’ll Still Need a Number 2 Pencil
Taken by over two million students each year, the SAT is often considered the gold standard of college admissions test, not to mention one of the most stressful processes of a student’s high school career.
First introduced in 1926 as a means to measure academic skills students might need for college, the SAT has changed numerous times to reflect the changing requirements of colleges and universities, time limits, and other factors affecting students performances.
In 2014, College Board, the nonprofit that administers the SAT, announced that the test would again be redesigned starting in 2016. Though some of the changes are only slight, they affect the way a student should be preparing for the test.
Here’s what you need to know:
Back to 1600
In 2005, the SAT was changed to make it more difficult for students and to prevent too many perfect scores. Perhaps one of the biggest differences on the edited version was a switch from the standard 1600-point system to a maximum score of 2400.
The new test, which students will start taking in 2016, returns to the 1600-point system, with a minimum score of 400.
No Penalty for Wrong Answers
Unlike other standardized tests that didn’t penalize for wrong answers, and therefore encouraged that students make educated guesses, the SAT did have a penalty for wrong answers (a quarter point for each incorrect answer) — until now.
The new SAT will be a rights-only scoring system, meaning that no points will be taken off for wrong answers, similar to the current system of the ACT.