Speed Reads

This is only a test

Out with the old, in with the new SAT

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The College Board has decided to abrogate the old SAT, and bring in a redesigned, more pellucid test that better gauges the acumen needed to succeed in college and the professional world, rather than relying on obfuscatory questions.

In more quotidian terms, the SAT is unveiling a new test in 2016, with one huge change: The vocabulary section will no longer include obscure words that no one ever uses (see above). According to The New York Times, the vocab portion will emphasize "'high utility' words that appear in many contexts, in many disciplines — often with shifting meanings — and they will be tested in context." The reading, writing, and language parts of the test will require interpreting graphics and citing examples, and for math, the questions will lean more toward problem solving, algebra, and data analysis.

The new test will be used to predict college success and also to determine where students are falling behind in college readiness, the Los Angeles Times reports.

"This test will be more open and clear than any in our history," says Cynthia B. Schmeiser, chief of assessment for the College Board. "It is more of an achievement test, anchored in what is important and needed for kids to be ready and succeed in college. The process used to define what is being measured is radically different than what we've used in the past and what is used in other tests."

According to the Los Angeles Times, close to 1.7 million students take the SAT annually, but the rival ACT is gaining nationwide acceptance after widespread adoption in the South and Midwest. For a look at some of the new test questions, visit the Los Angeles Times.