The College Board which creates the Scholastic Assessment Test - conducted its own exam- and decided it was failing students. "It is time to admit that the SAT and ACT have become far too disconnected from the work of our high schools," says David Coleman.
The redesigned college entrance exam returns to a 1600 point scale and the essay becomes optional. There will be no penalties for wrong answers and the questions will focus more on commonly used vocabulary and core math skills.
The changes come following feedback from educators who say the SAT is not testing for skills that students need in college and afterward. "We have also been listening to our students and their families for whom these tests are often mysterious and foster unproductive anxiety."
The College Board also announced a partnership with the tutoring website Khan Academy to offer free test prep materials for the new SAT. That could benefit students from lower-income families who can't afford expensive tutors and classes. "We're not in the game of hey when in doubt pick C because statistically you have a 5% chance of getting it right. We're not into this gamesmanship. We're more let's make sure you have really solid fundamentals," says founder Sal Khan.
The test was last updated in 2005. The new version rolls out in 2016.
Another change - for the first time students will have the option of taking the new test on computers.