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Major Changes Are In Store For The SAT College Entrance Exam

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Jessica Kartalija 3 Jessica Kartalija
Jessica Kartalija joined the Eyewitness News team during the summer of...
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BALTIMORE (WJZ) — The College Board that creates the SAT test conducted its own exam and realized it was failing students.

Jessica Kartalija explains.

The College Board is changing the exam to help level the playing field for everyone.

At the Academies at Frederick Douglass High School, signs stress the importance of taking the SAT.

“I’m a freshman, so I wouldn’t think about college right now,” said Joanna Johnson.

Johnson will be one of the first to take the new exam in 2016–a three-section test on evidence-based reading and writing, math and an optional essay.

“It can definitely be overwhelming to try and get prepared for that. Now that they are eliminating the essay, it’s optional, it’s going from four hours to three hours,” guidance counselor Maela Thomas said.

Admissions officers say there was often a disconnect between what students were learning in their high school classrooms and what was being asked of them on the SAT.

Elena Hicks is dean of undergraduate admissions at Loyola University, Maryland, where submitting SAT scores is optional.

“In that application, if a student can be honest about who they are and passionate about what they want, I think they will be successful,” Hicks said. “I think what the SAT, the new one, will do is level the playing field for students. And that’s a good thing.”

That’s because videos designed to help students prepare for the exam will be available online for free, whereas before, students who could afford to pay for SAT prep courses were at an advantage.

So will the new exam work?

“Until students are sitting in that seat, taking this test at least several rounds and the College Board receiving feedback, we won’t truly know,” Hicks said.

Points will no longer be deducted for incorrect answers on multiple choice portions.

The test will return to a 1,600 point scale as opposed to 2,400.

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