SAT final (Chris Goyette and Kathryn Hyer, Scroll Illustration)

SAT implements biggest changes to the test in years

For the first time in several years, the SAT exam underwent major changes. Changes were implemented in January.

SAT stands for Scholastic Aptitude Test and has been used by colleges and universities around the nation since the 1920’s to help determine admission for incoming freshman.

Changes to the exam include free online test prep, a revamped essay section, greater focus on historical texts taught in school, no more testing on obscure vocabulary and no penalty for wrong answers.

Current juniors and seniors will be the first to take the updated SAT exam.

“I’m not really worried about it,” said Sarah Warren, a junior at Lovejoy High School in Lucas, Texas who is planning on taking the exam and applying to BYU-Idaho.

Warren said she is a fan of the extra time given to take the test under the new format, but is not a fan of a lot of the other new factors.

After a revamp in 2005, the biggest complaint that testers had was the lack of time given to answer every section completely. The test now only has 16 or less questions per section, allowing students to complete each section with ample time, according to an article published by USA Today.

The number of of multiple choice answers was decreased from five to four, giving the test taker a 25 percent chance of getting the question right, as opposed to the former 20 percent.

With the redesign, the essay section is no longer integrated into the writing score but graded separately and is optional.

The exam is still English and math based.

“Most of the changes are kind of irrelevant,” Warren said. “I mean we don’t really know the difference.”

The test is meant to more fully reflect the skills learned throughout school by the students taking it, according to the USA Today article.

“It’s a little bit annoying, but I don’t really have a preference just because it will probably change again later,” Warren said.

Copyright 2015 BYU-I Scroll