Out with the old, in with the new SAT

Kiran Singh, Beyond Liberty Editor

By now, most know that the SAT is changing, but if you haven’t, you’re in luck – kind of.
The College Board announced this year that the SAT format is changing. Why? “The new test will be more focused on the skills and knowledge at the heart of education”, the College Board website said.
Changes include the essay being optional, and the time limit doubling to fifty minutes.
The old SAT had five answer choices, and now there’s four. Originally, incorrect answers cost .25 points, but there isn’t a guessing penalty now.
The switch affects current juniors and sophomore and many colleges specify the test they want each class to take and the essay requirements.
“Students planning to enter autumn 2017 or later should plan on taking the Writing portion of SAT”, the University of Washington website said.
Liberty English teacher, newspaper advisor, and SAT coach Kris Daughters sees this as something new.
“College Board has done research and figured out that the things they’re testing aren’t aligned with what kids need to be successful in college,” Daughters said. “It’s not a good test of [their success] in college.”
Daughters will be adjusting her SAT prep course’s teaching plans.
“The biggest challenge for me is going to be to learn the new curriculum,” Daughters said.
She believes that students are also being challenged in this switch.
“To change the curriculum… it’s weird to do that in the middle of the year. It’s even weirder for the kids who are juniors… [they’re] stuck between a rock and a hard place,” Daughters said. “I don’t know what to say when they ask, ‘Should I take the new one or the old one?’”
Many juniors may be struggling to choose a preferred standardized test, but taking practice versions can help determine the best fitting one.