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March 5, 2014
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Having decided that its signature college entrance exam, the SAT, is outdated or flawed in many respects, the College Board will:

A) Scrap the exam entirely

B) Refund the money of everyone who ever took the test

C) Say in a press release "Yeah, well life is unfair, too"

D) Announce sweeping changes to the SAT

The answer is D.

Yes, on Wednesday the College Board announced it would overhaul the SAT by making the essay portion optional, returning the exam to a 1600-point scale, and ending penalties for guessing incorrectly. Saying the test did not adequately prepare students for college, the company said it would also ditch esoteric "SAT words" and put a greater emphasis on critical thought, asking test-takers to analyze texts from a range of subjects and support their answers with evidence.

The changes come as part of a broader effort by the College Board to modernize the exam and level the playing field by extending more opportunities to low-income students. In addition to changing the test, the College Board will also provide free test preparation and offer fee waivers to some college applicants.

The changes will take effect starting in 2016. Jon Terbush

8:09 a.m. ET
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A long-rumored Bruce Springsteen autobiography is in the works, with sources telling Page Six the book sold to Simon & Schuster for an advance of over $10 million. The Boss had put off writing his life story four years ago when The Who's Pete Townsend and Neil Young both released their own autobiographies.

"I thought, f--k it, I'm not going to do one too," Springsteen told the Daily Mail at the time.

The book will rather unsurprisingly be titled Born to Run. From Springsteen's website:

In Born to Run, Springsteen describes growing up in Freehold, New Jersey amid the "poetry, danger, and darknessā€ that fueled his imagination. He vividly recounts his relentless drive to become a musician, his early days as a bar band king in Asbury Park, and the rise of the E Street Band. With disarming candor, he also tells for the first time the story of the personal struggles that inspired his best work, and shows us why the song "Born to Run" reveals more than we previously realized.

"Writing about yourself is a funny business," Bruce notes in his book. "But in a project like this, the writer has made one promise, to show the reader his mind. In these pages, I've tried to do this." [Bruce Springsteen]

Born to Run will be released on September 27. Jeva Lange

7:26 a.m. ET
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Reinhold Hanning, 94, is to go on trial in Germany on Thursday for being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people at the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau, The New York Times reports. Hanning was allegedly an SS sergeant who met Jewish prisoners as they arrived at the camp in rail cars.

While Hanning admits he worked at the camp between 1943 and 1944, he maintains that he was only a guard and did not harm anyone and did not know about the gas chambers. However, others insist that he couldn't have been ignorant of the operations at the camp due to the length of time he worked at Auschwitz. Elderly Holocaust survivors will be testifying against him in court.

Hanning is one of several cases that have recently been opened against accused former Nazis in Germany as authorities step up their efforts to bring the elderly war criminals to trial. Jeva Lange

7:11 a.m. ET
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On Thursday, South Korea suspended operations at the Kaesong industrial zone, a decade-old factory park just across the border in North Korea where 124 South Korean factories hire North Korean workers, and citizens of both countries have a rare chance to interact. The factory park has only been closed once before since starting operations in 2004, when North Korea pulled the plug for five months in 2013. This time, North Korea called South Korea's suspension of operations a "dangerous declaration of war" and "declaration of an end to the last lifeline of the North-South relations."

Pyongyang ordered the North Korean military to take over Kaesong, moved to deport all South Koreans at the industrial park, removed all 55,000 North Korean workers, froze all South Korean assets, and cut off two emergency hotlines to the South. It also insulted South Korean President Park Geun-hye, calling her a "confrontational wicked woman" who masterminded the Kaesong shutdown and crudely accusing her of living on "the groin of her American boss." Park said she had suspended operations to prevent North Korea from earning cash it could use to further its nuclear weapons program, after North Korea tested what it said was an H-bomb last month and launched a rocket that the U.S. and its allies say was a stealth ICBM test. The U.S. Senate Wednesdsay night unanimously voted to slap new sanctions on Pyongyang. Peter Weber

5:36 a.m. ET

On Wednesday's Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon put on a bald cap and wrinkled suit and tested out his Bernie Sanders impersonation. Fallon's Sanders, like the real Democratic presidential candidate, declared victory in Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, but Fallon's version was a little more "get off of my lawn!" and a tad bit saltier than the real senator. "New Hampshirites showed the world that you're good, decent people, even though you live in towns that sound like 18th century porn stars," he said. "You have spoken, and your message is loud and clear: You want a candidate who looks like a Scooby-Doo villain before his mask is removed." It would be unfair to compare Fallon's impersonation to Larry David's, but it isn't half bad. Judge for yourself below. Peter Weber

4:48 a.m. ET

On Wednesday's Late Show, Stephen Colbert noted that Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Donald Trump were the big winners of Tuesday's presidential primaries in New Hampshire, then imagined a general-election debate between the two native New Yorkers. After a few back-and-forths between the two, impersonating each candidate, Colbert said that "at this point I can't tell if I'm doing Trump or Bernie. I can't tell. Honestly, the difference is not yuuge."

He then turned to Tuesday's losers, starting with Hillary Clinton. "She's not reaching young people, so she's trying a new tactic: disappointed mom," he said. And if you doubt the analogy, Colbert's spot-on "disappointed mom" spiel will put your doubts to rest. He spent a little time poking fun at Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Marco Rubio, but he went all-out at the end. After playing a clip of MSNBC's Chris Hayes accidentally calling Sanders "Bernie Sandwich," Colbert unleashed some elaborate, truly spectacular sandwich puns. Watch below. Peter Weber

4:17 a.m. ET

Stephen Colbert started off Wednesday's Late Show with an explanation of Ash Wednesday and a struggle over whether he could break the late-night rules by skipping the monologue and just running to his desk to discuss the New Hampshire primaries. The winner of the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders, walked on to tell him he could, and to provide comic relief.

Later in the show, when Sanders sat down for his interview, Colbert asked him why he thinks he crushed Hillary Clinton among young voters. Sanders had two theories. First, he said, "by definition, young people are idealistic, and they look at a world with so many problems and they say 'Why not?'" In this case, the "why not?" refers to free college tuition and single-payer health care. "The second part that I think young people are thinking about is how does it happen that with all of this technology and productivity in our economy, they are likely to have a lower standard of living than their parents, while almost all new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent?" Sanders said. Colbert noted that he is part of the 1 percent, and the rich aren't just giving their money away.

Then Colbert turned to the winner of the New Hampshire Republican primary. "Do you think that there's a similarity in appeal between you and Donald Trump?" he asked, noting that some polls showed that plenty of New Hampshire voters didn't decide until the last minute whether they were going to vote for Trump or Sanders.

"Well, I think a lot of Donald Trump supporters are angry," Sanders replied. "They're in many cases people who are working longer hours for low wages, they're people who are really worried about what's going to happen to their kids." But unlike his supporters, Sanders added, these voters have "responded to Trump's false message" of Latino-scapegoating and Islamophobia. "People have a right to be angry," he added, "but what we need to be is rational in figuring out how we address the problems, and not simply scapegoating minorities." Watch Sanders also bash Bill O'Reilly and try to explain how he would enact his agenda below. Peter Weber

3:25 a.m. ET
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Cliven Bundy, the Nevada rancher who famously got in an armed standoff after refusing to pay federal grazing fees, flew to Portland late Wednesday night, en route to the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, where his sons Ammon and Ryan Bundy had led an armed occupation until they were arrested last month. FBI agents were waiting for Cliven Bundy when he landed and arrested him; Bundy was booked into the Multhomah County jail before midnight on Wednesday, detained on a U.S. Marshal hold for his role in the 2014 armed confrontation with Bureau of Land Management agents at his Nevada Ranch.

Ammon Bundy's lawyer, Mike Arnold, said that the arrest of Cliven Bundy could complicate the planned surrender Thursday morning of the last four holdouts at the Malheur refuge. The elder Bundy owes the federal government $1 million in unpaid grazing fees and penalties, and when BLM agents impounded Bundy's cattle in 2014, he and armed militia members confronted the federal agents, who relented rather than shed blood. Peter Weber

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