Office of Planning and Budgeting

Changes to the SAT Likely

The College Board announced today that it would begin the process of overhauling the SAT. While no details have been published yet, David Coleman, the new president of the College Board, has indicated that the test would be adjusted to more closely mirror—and better prepare students for—the expectations of a college classroom. In the past, Coleman has been critical of the SAT writing section, introduced in 2005, saying that the opinion-based writing style the test demands is not comparable to the evidence-based style required in college. Coleman also claimed that changes to the test would improve the transition from high school to college, better align the test to the core high school curriculum, and increase equity and fairness. 

Some experts believe the SAT is being revamped because of increased competition from the ACT. This year, for the first time since the tests were created, the number of students taking the ACT exceeded the number taking the SAT by about 2,000 students. The ACT has traditionally been favored in the Midwest, and by students who do well in rigorous courses but have more trouble with high-stakes aptitude tests. Now, many students take both tests, and students from all regions are considering the ACT as an option. The SAT overhaul may therefore be an effort to make the test more relevant and re-establish the SAT’s dominance in the college admissions testing field.  

Check out Inside Higher Ed’s article on the potential new SAT, or read Coleman’s letter for more information.

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