New SAT Will Focus More On Algebra And Reading Comprehension, Less On Vocabulary

Politico (4/16, Simon) reports on the recent changes to the SAT. In addition to noting the changes to vocabulary testing, the article says that “the exam now focuses intently on algebra” for its math section, adding that the essay is optional. The article adds that students may find new questions “confounding,” as the new test mimics Common Core exams and the first wave of students taking the SAT in 2016 will have little exposure to the Common Core tests. College Board President David Coleman said, “We aim to offer worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles.” The article speculates that Coleman seeks to revitalize the SAT brand, which has lost market share to the ACT. The article also provides sample questions from the new exam.

        NPR (4/17, Turner) quotes Coleman: “It is time for an admissions assessment that makes it clear that the road to success is not last-minute tricks or cramming but the learning students do over years each day.” The article adds that the new math section will focus on linear equations and functions, but also notes that there will be more emphasis on reading passages. “Because whenever a question really matters in college, in career, or in life...the crucial next step is to support your answers with evidence,” Coleman said.