SAT test preparation books sit on a shelf at a Barnes and Noble store June 27, 2002 in New York City. College Board trustees decided June 27 to add a written essay and other changes to the SAT in an overhaul of the college entrance exam. The first administration of the new SAT will occur in March of 2005. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
(USA TODAY) -- Creators of the SAT exam announced plans Wednesday to toughen the
test in the face of stagnant national scores, planning to challenge
students to provide more analysis, cite evidence and even turn in their
calculators before answering some math questions.
The new version will be first administered in 2016.
is time for an admissions assessment that makes it clear that the road
to success is not last-minute tricks or cramming but the challenging
learning students do every day," said David Coleman, president of the
non-profit College Board, which produces the SAT, originally known as
the Scholastic Aptitude Test.
The SAT is a rite of passage for
high school students seeking admission to college. Many - but not all -
universities require SAT scores as part of the admissions process.
1.6 million students take the exam each year, and only 43% of the high
school class of 2013 scored high enough to succeed in college, according
to a College Board analysis. U.S. students have fallen behind their
counterparts in many other developed nations in test results, prompting
concerns that the U.S. is insufficiently preparing young people for
competing in a global economy.
The SAT last underwent a redesign in 2005.
other major college admissions exam for American students is the ACT,
delivered to nearly 1.7 million each year. That test was recently
changed and will be made available digitally in 2015, allowing students
to see their results in minutes.
The freshly overhauled SAT test
includes a more challenging essay assignment scored on the strength of
analysis as well as writing. But the score for it will not be part of
the final overall test result. Colleges can choose whether to consider
As a result of this change, the top score for the new SAT will drop from 2400 to 1600.
Test scoring also was changed, no longer deducting for an incorrect answer. Points are only added for correct answers.
Jago, a high school teacher in Santa Monica, Calif., and past president
of the National Council of Teachers of English, hailed the redesign as a
better way to test whether students are prepared for the demands of
"I think it's more authentic," she said, "by
insisting that a student not only get a right answer, but demonstrate
how they get a right answer."
While the scope of the exam has been
narrowed in areas such as math and vocabulary, what remains requires
more demanding problem-solving - what Coleman described in remarks
released Wednesday as "doing a few things very well."
reading passages in the exam, students must cite specific passages from
extracts of well-known writings to support answers, something not
necessary in the current version.
The new test will include
science, history or social studies source documents that students will
be required to analyze or draw citations from to support answers.
"We are not interested in students just picking an answer, but justifying the answer," Coleman said.
works included in the SAT for students to evaluate will hopefully be
more familiar than documents included in current SATs, the College Board
said. The new version will draw from milestone documents such as the
Declaration of Independence or the Bill of Rights, or crucial speeches
such as the Gettysburg Address or Dr. Martin Luther King's "I Have a
Coleman promised that the vocabulary requirements would be
pared down to avoid the current version's tendency to ask about "a
word you have not heard before and are not likely to hear again."
Vocabulary included in the revised exam will be words more often used
and words that also have more complex, multiple meanings.
section also is being narrowed to what Coleman described as three core
areas: understanding how to use ratios, percentages and proportions;
linear equations under the heading "Heart of Algebra"; and a section
devoted to more complex equations or functions related to calculus.
You may also like...
Beach Treasure: Lost wedding ring found 8 months later
Nudist Lawsuit: Blind woman sues for having service dog refused
Reptile Invasion: Exotic "tegu lizards" taking over Tampa Bay
Dream Date: High schooler taking NFL cheerleader to the prom
Underwater Secret: Hidden caves beneath Weeki Wachee
Send in the Clowns: Clown shortage threatens the nation
Sasquatch on Tour: "Dead Bigfoot" on display in Texas
Eat Up: Yoga mat chemical found in hundreds of store foods
#ShortYellows: Florida quietly shortened yellow lights
Kittens shot: Officer shoots kittens in front of children
Popular photo galleries:
Faces of Meth: Devastating before and after photos of meth abusers
Trayvon Martin Shooting: Trayvon Martin crime scene photos and George Zimmerman injury photos
Hooters Winners: Winners of the 2013 Hooters swimsuit pageant
Rejected: Funny Florida license plates rejected by the DMV ***warning graphic***
Deadly sinkhole: Home collapses, man dies in giant sinkhole
Florida Sex Offenders: Look up sex offenders in any Florida neighborhood here
Restaurant Inspections: Look up inspection reports for any Florida restaurant here