Today, March 5, College Board president and CEO David Coleman announced that the College Board will redesign the form of the SAT Reasoning Test and will debut the new test in spring 2016. The test currently has three sections with a total of 2400 points, and the new test will go back to the older form of two sections with a total of 1600 points.
The test format was last modified in 2005, when the College Board added a new section and a written essay to the SAT. In the projected new test, the pre-2005 two section form will be adopted, but students will have the option to write an essay and receive a separate essay score. Though the SAT is reverting to an older form, the test is moving forward technologically: the current plan is to administer testing both on paper and on computers starting in 2016. Currently the test is only offered on paper.
According to CNN, Coleman stated that the new exam will be “focused, useful, open, clear and aligned with the work you will do throughout high school.”
While some colleges have made standardized tests optional for admission, most four-year colleges require students to submit an SAT or ACT score for consideration. According to the National Association for College Admission Counseling’s 2013 “State of College Admission” report, standardized test scores are not the most important factor to one’s college admission, but they do play a role in the process.
In addition to a more focused test, Coleman said that the College Board will work towards breaking socioeconomic barriers for attending college.
“It is time for the College Board to say in a clearer voice that the culture and practice of costly test preparation that has arisen around admissions exams drives the perception of inequality and injustice in our country,” Coleman said in a speech, according to the New York Times. “It may not be our fault, but it is our problem.”
CNN reports that Coleman’s plan includes working with Khan Academy to provide free test preparation materials. This distribution is scheduled to start in spring 2015. Coleman also mentioned upcoming plans for providing college application fee waivers for all income-eligible students.