On Wednesday (March 5th), the College Board announced a major overhaul and redesign of the SAT. While my predictions that the new SAT would eliminate difficult vocabulary and include a document-based essay were correct, the College Board went much further. The new test, effective starting in the spring of 2016, goes back to the 1600 scale and includes a number of sweeping changes.
Official College Board Release: https://www.collegeboard.org/releases/2014/expand-opportunity-redesign-sat
Background Story Behind Changes: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/09/magazine/the-story-behind-the-sat-overhaul.html
Les Perelman and the SAT Essay: http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2014/03/13/the-man-who-killed-sat-essay/L9v3dbPXewKq8oAvOUqONM/story.html
New SAT Will Widen Education Gap: http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304704504579429493504786468
Vocab/Reading/Writing Analysis: http://thecriticalreader.com/blog/item/393-about-the-new-sat-are-you-college-and-career-ready.html
Standardized Tests Need to Measure Creativity: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/beautiful-minds/2014/03/12/what-the-new-sat-misses-big-time/
Test Prep a Proxy for Attitude toward Education: http://www.nationalreview.com/agenda/373299/college-board-going-after-wrong-villain-j-d-vance
The Requisite "Testing is Evil" Backlash:
Before high school students and their parents start getting too anxious, it's important to note that the changes will NOT affect current high school juniors or sophomores. Current freshmen will be the first class to be offered the new SAT.
I have a lot of thoughts on the changes, but I'll save a detailed analysis until mid-April, when more info about the new test will be released. For now, I think we can all agree that the "Delivering Opportunity" segment of the College Board's announcement is fantastic. I love the new application fee waiver program, which waives 4 college application fees for high-scoring low-income students. As for the new SAT, I'm going to venture a guess that it adheres to the adage that the more things change, the more they stay the same.