S.A.T. changes coming for high school students

Zari McFadden, a senior at Riverside High School, applies for different colleges during a November PYO college application party. S.A.T. scores could be the deciding factor in what school accepts her. (Staff photo by Christian Lawrence)

Rising seniors in Durham and across the nation should be aware of the new S.A.T testing coming next spring.

According to the Kaplan test prep site, the reasoning is that College Board, the creators of the test, is to set a goal to better align the test with skills necessary for college and career readiness, and to better match content of the test with high school curriculum.

There are several changes coming between last year’s test and the new one.

Some of the differences of the new test are:

  • Price change
  • Score change
  • Essays are optional
  • No useless vocabulary
  • No deduction for wrong answers

Two million students nation wide will be affected, the College Board website states. The pricing for taking the S.A.T with the essay has not changed and is $54.50. The testing without the essay costs $43. Basic subject tests and language with listening tests cost $26. All other subject tests will cost $18.

Scoring has changed as well with fewer points being tallied up. The old scoring range was 600-2400 points. The new scoring range is 400-1600 points. The new testing, unlike the old, also does not count wrong answers against students, according to CFNC.org.

Test scores to get in different colleges vary. For example, to get into North Carolina State University your S.A.T score needs to be between 580-670. Students wanting to attend North Carolina Central University have to have a S.A.T. score of 800.

Dorothy McGirt is a guidance counselor at Hillside New Tech. She said that testing would be better for the upcoming seniors because it will cover more classwork that students are taking. Students should always consult with their counselor or parent before registering for the test. There are extra charges for making changes after signing up.

It would be best to begin by talking to a counselor or parent before making a final decision on taking the S.A.T.

Talton Mickle, a junior at Voyager Academy agrees. He said “that it was one of the hardest tests to take.”

“You would have to be a genius to make a good score on the S.A.T,” he said. “But my parents are making me take it.”

McGirt said there are many reasons students do not take the S.A.T.

Some students are afraid to take the test and need additional testing to do so. Other students don’t always pay attention to information presented to them about the importance of taking the S.A.T.

“Many students don’t know to take the S.A.T,” McGirt said. “Some students don’t know that they will qualify for a fee waiver.”

A student may receive a waiver if they are in foster care or if they receive free or reduced lunch. They can also get one if their family lives below the poverty level.

“A student does not have to show proof of receiving free or reduced lunch,” McGirt said. “The counselor may consult with the school’s cafeteria manager for that information.”

Avia Dolberry, a Hillside High senior, looks at college applications and reviews S.A.T. scores with PYO volunteer Kay Peters. (Staff photo by Bruce Wilkerson)

Avia Dolberry, a Hillside High senior, looks at college applications and reviews S.A.T. scores with PYO volunteer Kay Peters. (Staff photo by Bruce Wilkerson)

One thought on “S.A.T. changes coming for high school students

  1. Here’s a chart about key changes to the SAT that start in March 2016: http://aplushigherscores.com/newsat

    Juniors can avoid the (new) SAT altogether by taking the ACT. Colleges accept both the ACT and SAT equally. Get more info about options for college admissions testing here: http://aplushigherscores.com/students-best-options-for-the-act-current-sat-and-new-sat/

    If you’re taking the new SAT, there’s lot more that students–especially juniors– need to know. Read this: http://aplushigherscores.com/students-best-options-for-the-act-current-sat-and-new-sat/

    Need more info about the differences between the ACT and the SAT? http://aplushigherscores.com/whichtest

    Have more questions? We’re right here in the Bull City helping students turn their scores into scholarships.
    APlus Test Prep, 919-824-3913, aplushigherscores.com

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