The SAT exam is about to undergo some serious revisions and changes that could dramatically change the trial by fire that determined your entire academic fate. [Image via Butz.2013/Flickr]
The changes came on the heels of a major report from The College Board that will introduce new questions, problems and scoring methods for the college aptitude test. These changes are an attempt to address recent criticisms that the test is biased towards certain groups of students who come from school districts with higher, overall income levels. Some of the changes, however, are pretty dramatic and would alter the test in ways you probably wish were available when you were sweating waterfalls while trying to fill in the entire circle on your answer sheets.
The most noticeable difference is that students who guess incorrectly on a question won’t be penalized for that answer. They simply won’t get the points for it. The Board will also eliminate questions about “obscure” vocabulary words in an attempt to focus on ones that they believe “are used more commonly in college classrooms.” They will also eliminate the required essay question on the written part of the exam. Starting in 2016, that portion of the exam will be optional.
Of course, anyone who had to take the soon-to-be-old version of the test knows that the word “optional” never appears in the SAT’s instruction booklet. We had to answer every single question in that mother and now a whole new generation of students can literally opt out of a huge portion of the test. We would have given years off of our lives just to avoid having to take the essay portion of the exam and given all the stress and sweat we put into our SAT prep, we probably did just that.