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College Board announces plans to redesign the SAT


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

For many students, the SAT is the first piece in the college preparation process. A strong SAT score can strengthen a college application and demonstrate to admission officers that the student has a solid understanding of a range of academic subjects. Recently, College Board, the organization that administers the exam, announced plans to redesign the SAT to more closely reflect the kind of work students will be expected to complete in order to successfully graduate, reports Inside Higher Ed.

Core knowledge and skills
David Coleman, the College Board's new president, outlined his plans in a letter sent to College Board members. In it, Coleman emphasized the need to restructure the SAT to adequately prepare students for the rigor of college course work, and to provide them with the best possible chance of succeeding in higher education.

"We will develop an assessment that mirrors the work that students will do in college so that they will practice the work they need to do to complete college," Coleman wrote, as quoted by the news source. "An improved SAT will strongly focus on the core knowledge and skills that evidence shows are most important to prepare students for the rigors of college and career."

The SAT underwent its last changes in 2005, but Coleman remained tight-lipped on what students can expect from the revised exam. However, speaking at the Brookings Institution last year, Coleman was critical of the writing portion of the SAT, suggesting this could be an area that may see significant changes.

Changing with the times
Coleman also voiced his dissatisfaction with the vocabulary component of the SAT. In a transcript of his talk at the Brookings Institution, Coleman expressed his desire to rework the SAT's vocabulary section to more closely align with words that today's students need to know and are likely to encounter in their academic and professional lives.

Although the ACT has become a popular college admission exam in recent years, the SAT still carries a lot of weight. A good score can mean the difference between acceptance and rejection, especially at elite colleges where competition for available places is intense. To adequately prepare for college, students may want to stay abreast of news concerning how the SAT will be redesigned and remain focused on their studies to achieve the best results possible.

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