New version of SAT to be administered to students

Test is said to be a better measure of what is actually covered in high school classes


Mayla Gilliam, Life Editor

The College Board will be administering the new RSAT to juniors and seniors starting March 2016.

The RSAT (redesigned scholastic aptitude test) has been created to test students on information that they may learn in an average public school curriculum.

According to Jonas Santiago, the center director of Sylvan Learning Center at their Wake Forest location, this change was belated, and much needed.

“I believe this change is overdue, since the old SAT test was out of sync with the common core standards that are taught in today’s classrooms.  There will be a learning curve for everyone, including the test designers,” Santiago said.

Elbert Thomas, dean of students said that the test redesign was not a shock. The test needed to be aligned with what students are being taught in class.

“They put it more back in line with, I hate to say it, Common Core standards, but they pretty much were looking at kids and looking at testing students on what they were learning in their school, and making sure that they are college ready,” Thomas said.

One of the changes that will be the most evident is that the essay section will now be optional to students.

Thomas believes that the reason for the essay removal is because colleges are straying away from analyzing a student based on an essay.

“I think that they made it optional because some colleges don’t require essays. They’re getting away from that and looking more at your academic or scholastic GPA. They are looking if your courses align, and they are making sure you are taking the most rigorous courses at your high school,” Thomas said.

Lucas believes that the removal of the essay section was because it is not examined by colleges in the admittance process because it does not promote a student’s individual writing style.

“Most universities value essays in the enrollment application, since this is an opportunity for students to be unique and have more liberties to share who they are. Due to this, many universities do not even look at the SAT essay as an application requirement,” Lucas said.

The math portion of the RSAT has now shifted its focus to be directed more towards the Common Core curriculum that some schools are teaching their students.

“I think it will be more in line with what teachers are teaching our students in a classroom as far as Math I, II and III, Pre-Calc,” Thomas said.

The RSAT asks that students read about 4,500 words of text and answer nearly 100 questions in a little over an hour and a half. Students get one short break.

Because the reading section is first on the test, followed by the writing and language portion, students are going to be required to consume and analyze information quickly.

Lucas said there is a possibility of an increase.

“I would hope that test scores will improve, since the SAT questions will be based on the common core skills in today’s public school system,” Lucas said.

Thomas is confident that the students will perform above expectations on this redesigned SAT.

Thomas said, “I think we are going to see more of going back to the perfect score on the SAT, than we have previously.”