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New SAT Format Brings Score Changes

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New SAT Format Brings Score Changes

The SAT for college-bound students saw major revisions in the spring of 2016. Early results show that along with the changes, the tests include a degree of score inflation.

For the first time in over a decade, the SAT had a drastic makeover which includes a new scoring range of 400 to 1600 as opposed to the preexisting score range of 600 to 2400. Evidence-based reading and writing is now a main component to the test and the essay that was required on the old SAT is now optional and scored separately. Perhaps the biggest change is that students no longer receive the 1/4-point penalty for wrong answers.

Given the changes, it makes sense that scores would not equally correspond with those recorded on earlier SATs. According to the College Board, today’s results would have been 60 to 80 points lower on corresponding sections of the old SAT. The College Board even provides a score converter to help compare new SAT scores to old SAT and ACT scores.

The Washington Post quoted Adam Ingersoll, a college test-preparation consultant in California, as saying: “The scores have risen because of design decisions made by the College Board. Kids are not smarter. The test is not ‘easier.’ The test has just changed. It’s a different test.”

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