- No More Fill-in-the-Blank Vocabulary: Of the announced changes to the SAT, students most strongly support this one, with 85% in favor of this change. Long the bane of many students’ test-taking experience, fill-in-the-blank vocabulary questions will be eliminated with the new SAT. Instead, the exam will focus on vocabulary-in-context, as well as revising and editing write-in passages.
- Eliminating the Wrong Answer Penalty: The current ¼ point wrong answer penalty will be a thing of the past once the revised SAT launches in 2016, and 74% of teens surveyed give this change a thumbs-up. This change mirrors the scoring policy on the ACT - the other major college admissions exam - which does not penalize test takers for wrong answers.
- Addition of Historical Passage: The new SAT will include a reading passage from "founding documents of America," such as the Constitution or Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and/or world history – an addition that has the support of 70% of students surveyed. While students who know their American and world history may be at an advantage here, this part of the exam will test students on reading comprehension, not on historical facts.
- Optional Essay: Exactly half of those surveyed support the College Board’s move to make the SAT essay optional, rather than required – another move that mirrors an existing ACT policy. Added in 2005, the SAT essay (also known as the Writing section) changed the test’s scoring scale from 1600 to 2400. By making the essay optional, the SAT will return to a 1600 scoring scale; the optional essay will receive its own separate grade.
- No More Calculators...Sometimes: Currently, test takers can use approved calculators for all math questions, but with the new SAT, test takers will only be able to use calculators for some. Just under half of students surveyed (49.6%) think it’s a good idea to require test takers to solve some math problems without the use of a calculator.
Kaplan Test Prep Survey Finds That Today’s Tech-Immersed Teens Favor A Paper-and-Pencil SAT®: Students’ Support For Other Changes To The Exam Varies Depending On The Change
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