WASHINGTON, D.C. — Since a new revamped version of the SAT college entrance exam will debut in March, the College Board has teamed up with online educator Khan Academy to offer SAT practice with the new exam for free to all students through diagnostic quizzes and interactive practice tests.
Looking ahead to March, the College Board says the revamped exam is more representative of what students study in high school and the skills they need to succeed in college and afterward.
The test had last been revised in 2005.
The new makeover focuses less on arcane vocabulary words like “lachrymose'' and more on real-world learning and analysis by students. There also is no longer a penalty for guessing on the redesigned exam, and the essay will be optional. Students who decide not to write an essay would see about 50 minutes shaved off the length of the test.
The new SAT will continue to test reading, writing and math, with an emphasis on analysis. Some of the obscure vocabulary words that left kids memorizing flash cards for endless hours will vanish. Instead, more widely known words used in classroom learning will appear on the test and students will have to demonstrate their ability to determine meaning in different contexts.
Other significant changes include: in math, students will see more algebra and problem solving, instead of testing a wide range of math concepts; use of calculators will be limited and will be allowed only on certain math questions, instead of on the entire math portion; the essay portion will be optional; top score goes back to 1600, with a separate score for the essay.
The tests are available at https://www.khanacademy.org/sat.