Speed Reads

Better late than never

The College Board admits it totally bombed designing the SATs, so it's overhauling the test

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Having decided that its signature college entrance exam, the SAT, is outdated or flawed in many respects, the College Board will: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