Tiger Question: Changes to SAT

Tiger+Question%3A+Changes+to+SAT

The Newtonite

by Maya Metser

Upperclassmen have always dreaded the SATs, however, starting in 2016 they will be taking a different test. The College Board, the organization that runs the SAT, has made some significant changes in their test that may make studying for the test easier. The changes include making the essay optional, making the vocabulary more relevant, and eliminating the penalty for wrong answers. According to the College Board, the main goal is to realign the test with schoolwork. Some people supported the changes, while some were not in favor.

“I think it’s stupid because the whole point of the SATs is to be a challenge and to make sure people know what they need to know for college. People need to know how to write an essay for college, and it’s still an important skill to learn.”

—freshman Aliza Bromberg

“I think that the changes are not necessarily good because there are people who study really hard for the SATs and they deserve to get high scores. But if they don’t penalize for wrong answers, then someone could get a better score than what they actually deserve, which is unfair to the people who actually worked hard for their score. I don’t think that the essay should be optional. It should be mandatory. As for the vocab, it is supposed to be more relevant.”
—freshman Tamara Kahhale
“I think these changes are good because they probably show our true knowledge more. It won’t be as much memorization, rather it will show what we really know.”
—freshman Nalini Khurana
“I think the changes are good, but maybe not the optional essay because I feel like that’s a big part of the test. Making the vocabulary easier is definitely a good change.”

—sophomore Nora Burdick

“I’m jealous of the freshmen because those essays are awful. It’s good that the words are becoming more relevant, because most of the time, standardized tests were the only times you would use those words.”

—sophomore Evan Crystal

“I’m upset that it wasn’t changed during our year, but it still should be a fairly easy test.”
—junior Max Atakhanov

“For the vocab words, I think that’s a fantastic change. A lot of those vocab words, you only see on that one test and that’s it. The guessing penalty… I don’t really see as a big change.”

—junior Bill Shen

“I’ve already taken the SATs. I wish that they would have instituted it earlier because it would have improved my scores a lot. Obviously one year has to be the year that experiences the change, but I think the changes really make sense. I read about the vocab words being easier, and I think that makes a ton of sense. I saw a lot of words on the SATs that I only learned for the SATs but that I’m never going to use in real conversation or probably not even in any academic writing. So, I support the changes, and I’m glad that they’re happening, though I wish they were instituted earlier.”

—senior Max Harrison-Caldwell

“I’m in favor of an easier test, and I think it’s overrated. I see students here who work hard and have good grades, but may not have the best SATs. I have no doubt that they’ll be successful. I think it’s great that they’re trying to make a test that meets diverse learning styles.”
—Mark Aronson, Riley housemaster