College Board Announces Big Changes in SAT Exam

SAT redesign set for 2016 meant to make test more modern, relevant and fair.
3:00 | 03/05/14

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Transcript for College Board Announces Big Changes in SAT Exam
American life. And today, we learned it is an extreme makeover. The S.A.T.S, that test millions of high school students take after sleepless nights and nervous preparation. And the results can make a difference into getting into college. But are those tests really fair? And will big changes make it possible for all children to get ahead? ABC's Cecilia Vega breaks down the big news. Reporter: It is the test taken by millions of Americans. Every generation for over 80 years. Now changing to become more modern, relevant and fair. Obscure vocabulary words that only come up in multiple-test questions, gone. Words like panegyric, occlusion, phlegmatic. That means not easily excited, in case you didn't know. Replaced by words people actually use in college classrooms and on the job. The redesigned S.A.T. Will instead focus on words students will use over and over again. Reporter: The changes take effect in 2016. And they are meant to level the playing field. Some S.A.T. Prep courses can run as high as $20,000. Now, the college board is fighting back, making tutoring videos available for free. We need to dismantle the advantages in using costly test preparation to find out the secrets of the S.A.T. If there are no more secrets. It's very hard to pay for them. Reporter: Other changes in the test itself make the S.A.T. More like its biggest rival the A.C.T., which has been rapidly gaining ground. S.a.t. Reading passages now often seen as obscure, replaced by significant moments like the declaration of Independence. While writing an essay will be optional on the new test, test takers shouldn't celebrate just yet. Al Ja brayic formulas aren't going anywhere. The top score for the S.A.T.S will once again be 1,600. If the changes are about fairness, why not make them immediately? Reporter: They don't take place for another two years, 2016. The testers are telling us, this is to give teachers and students time to prepare. A lot of people are saying the changes, the sweeping overhaul, the S.A.T.S could make this test even tougher. The goal is for children of all economic backgrounds. Thank you so much, Cecilia Vega, reporting in tonight. Next, we turn to the crisis

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