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SAT takes new shape for 2016

The College Board recently redesigned the SAT, and the redesigned test will first be proctored in March of 2016. The new test will align with the Common Core Standards — the controversial, nation-wide public school math and reading curriculum which David Coleman, the new President of the College Board, designed and implemented before taking over the nonprofit College Board organization. In recent years, the SAT has been losing potential test-takers to the ACT, which those in the standardized testing industry speculate played a role in prompting the revamping of the test.

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The Class of 2017 is the first graduating class affected by this change, because they will be sitting the new SAT this spring. While this change, happening the middle of their junior year, may mean that the Class of 2017 has to take more tests, it also gives students more options. Information on all of these options has been going out to both students and parents, and additional resources are available in the college counseling office.

Though GFS may not have the SAT prep courses that some schools have, “We’ll give all students appropriate counseling,” Suzi Nam, Head of College Counseling, assures students. Students at schools like GFS often have a harder time with tests like the SAT, because while other high schools prepare their students for standardized testing and filling in bubbles, GFS prepares its students for collegiate level testing. That being said, there are many resources for students looking to study for any standardized test.

The new SAT has received a mixed reception and the change has caused colleges to alter their acceptance policy, which can be confusing.

“We have to learn a whole new set of requirements,” says Suzi Nam. Some students are choosing to take the ACT, so as not to risk an unknown.

However, deciding which test to take is personal and is about what is best for the individual. “If a college or university asks for standardized test scores it means it’s important to them,” says Nam.

As  almost every college requires test scores, support for students is crucial . However, it is important to note that these tests are deeply flawed. Statistics show that standardized test scores are directly related to a student’s socioeconomic status, with the wealthy scoring the highest, and ethnicity playing an important factor. Time and time again, research confirms these statistics, and now that the SAT has finally been updated we have yet to see whether any of these problems have been remedied.