The SAT college entrance exam taken last year by 1.6 million students is getting its first upgrade since 2005.
“The new exam will first be given in spring of 2016, we will offer the redesigned SAT both in print and digitally, and we will return to the 1600 scale,” said David Coleman of the nonprofit College Board which made the announcement in Austin Wednesday.
Coleman says the SAT did not focus enough on academic skills.
“Perhaps the most important change for students in the scoring is the College Board will remove the previous penalty for wrong answers, and go to a much simpler and transparent model of giving students points for answering the question correctly,” he said.
The group also has decided to cut obscure vocabulary words and make the essay portion optional.
“We'll leave that decision of whether to require the essay to our member school districts and colleges,” said Coleman.
The match portion of the exam also is being revamped.
“As the College Board has done in advance placement assessments, there will now be calculator and non-calculator sections on the SAT,” he said.
Texas School Board Member David Bradley says this is the unfortunate new trend in education.
"If it follows the trend that we have taken on in Texas the past legislative session to dumb down or reduce the rigor of our graduation requirements, I guess the colleges will have to follow suit,” Bradley tells KTRH News.
“If we want more kids to graduate rather than pushing them harder and setting high standards, we simply lower the bar, and yes more kids will graduate,” he says.