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Changes to ACT & SAT Will Affect High School Students

The new SAT, which will be unveiled in 2015, aims to better-align with what students are learning in the classroom.

Instead of memorizing long, uncommon words in preparation for the vocabulary portion of the SAT, students will be expected to understand more common words used in real-life contexts.

The math section of the SAT will also change. The old SAT emphasized choosing the correct answer from a multiple-choice list. The new SAT will require students to explain their answers.

The exact details of the SAT’s redesign haven’t yet been finalized or publicized.

The ACT — which is divided into four sections; English, reading, math and science and a fifth, optional, writing section — will see changes as well. Beginning the spring of 2015, students will have the option of taking the exam on a computer.

According to Jon Erickson, the present of ACT’s Education Division, “We are moving to a computer-based version, but for the foreseeable future, we will also have the paper and pencil test as an option for schools that don’t have the technological capability. We will probably have the option for students to choose paper and pencil, as well. But all the anecdotal evidence is that students prefer the computer.”

In addition, the new ACT test will include constructed-response questions that will require students to perform virtual tasks. As with the SAT, the ACT is still working through specifics of their updated test.

Current high school freshmen will see these new SAT and ACT tests implemented during their sophomore and junior years of high school.

How do you think changes to the SAT and ACT will affect this year’s high school freshmen?

Does your school have the resources necessary to administer the ACT’s new, computerized test?

Do you think the changes to the SAT and ACT are for the best?

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