New SAT changes equal success

SAT? More like SAD, because certainly no student is happy when taking that mandatory standardized test.

The new version of the SAT, which will go into effect in 2016, will be available online and on paper. We live in a tech-obsessed world, so that actually isn’t a bad idea. Additionally, instead of taking one-quarter of a point off the total score for wrong answers, no points will either be taken away.The new changes are mostly beneficial, the only question to arise is why they weren’t made sooner.

The only downside to the new changes it that the essay portion will be optional. That sounds beneficial, until you consider the fact that the SATs are supposed to assess how well a high school student will perform during their freshman year of college. Newsflash: every college student has to maintain the ability to write a good paper.

Easier vocabulary words are going to be used in the reading section because why would we want our American English-speaking students to flourish in their native language and deliver a well-written essay as a nice future indication of success in college? The easier vocabulary will only hurt students because no matter what profession they will get into, they will need to speak, and possibly write, intelligently.

The math section will cover fewer topics, which is wonderful. But just before you believe that the SAT creators are being nice, they have dropped the terrible bombshell that no calculators will be allowed. Ouch.

Lastly, the biggest change of all: the point scale. The current arrangement of a score out of 2400 will be reduced to 1600, like it was ten years ago. Nobody is complaining about this change, because the test is simply a waste of everybody’s four hours anyway.

However, what could cause College Board to finally make a change? Like everything else, it’s all about the money.

The ACT overtook the SAT in 2012 because of its broader and simpler concepts (aka it doesn’t try to trick you as much as the SAT). According to The Examiner, at least 2,000 more teens take the ACT than the SAT. Of course, College Board probably isn’t happy with that statistic because if colleges and their prospective students’ families quickly uncovered the truth that the SATs are a giant scam, they would not require them in the decision-making process, and College Board would therefore lose a significant amount of money.

The obvious decision was to change the format of the SAT so people can continue to falsely believe that they are important.

The college application process is expensive enough, and the added pressure to hire a tutor so they can do better than the kid across the room from them who never gets less than an A on anything is ridiculous.

According to an article on that analyzed the results of a study of the actual effectiveness of the SAT, the only true indication of how well a high school student will perform in college is solely dependent on their grades. Comments article author Sarah Sheffer, “if high school grades are not high, good testing does not promise college success. Students with good grades and modest testing did better in college than students with higher testing and lower high school grades.” Anybody can study for the same test, but not everybody can achieve the same level of high academic success for four years straight.

The SAT assumes that every student can equally excel in every area, thus pointing out students’’ downfalls when they do well on two of the sections and miserably fail the third. Not to mention the teens who suffer from test anxiety, who may have not gotten enough sleep the night before, or eaten a nice breakfast the day of, are automatically at an unfair advantage because one test dictates so much of their future.

If colleges can’t live without test scores, it would be smarter to grade students based on a school-specific examination. Standardized tests will never accurately depict a student’s true potential because every student learns different topics and has his/her own unique way of learning and understanding.

If anything, it’s about time the SATs changed for the better. While they will unfortunately never become obsolete, I wish the rules had been changed before I took my test because it was certainly a lot harder than it will be in 2016.

Lauren Fabiszak is an A&E Editor for The Patriot and