BEND, OR -- High school juniors considering taking the SAT exam this year have options on timing, which could impact which version of the test they take. The College Board will administer the current test for the last time in January.
Sheila Reed, Director of Sylvan Learning in Bend
, says parents may find the new scoring easier to understand. "You’ll get an 800 point score for the evidence based reading and writing section, and get 800 points for the two math sections. The optional essay won’t be included in that 1600, it’ll be a separate score. So they're going back to the 1600 score, which as parents, we understand that score more so than the 2400 that it’s been."
And, she says the new version could benefit students – no longer will they be penalized for wrong answers, and it’s more streamlined. "Before it kind of jumped around. You’d have a little bit of reading; little bit of math, little bit of writing, and then you’d cycle through and do them all over again. So, you had 25-minute bursts of those. The test sections will be longer, but at least you’re getting the whole subject over with in that test section," says Reed. The test is also going from nearly four hours to three, and the now-optional essay will be at the end instead of the beginning of the exam.
Reed says it’s important kids prepare and study for the right version. "It’s one test on one day; and you can certainly take it more than once, but it’s a pretty important test. And for most people, it’s probably one of the most important test they take in their whole life and they’re 17-years-old when they take it. So, it’s something I really want kids to take seriously, because when it comes down to college entrance, it’s going to be important; and more importantly, scholarship opportunities." The new SAT will be available, beginning in March.