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The New SAT and ACT Tests

By Deborah Williams

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Many people are wondering about the upcoming changes to the SAT.  A recent article , “Sneak Preview:  What the New SAT and Digital ACT Might Look Like,” by Tamar Lewin outlines some of the possible changes that are being considered.

Slated for unveiling in 2015, the new SAT will probably be influenced by changes suggested by the president of the College Board, David Coleman.  Coleman is pushing for a test that “meshes with what students are learning in their classrooms.” For example, he feels that the current vocabulary is not relevant and wants to do away with “SAT words.”  He would replace words like “compendious,” “membranous,” “mendacious,” “pugnacious,” “depreciatory,” “redolent,” “treacly” and “jettison.”  He’d replace them with words more frequently used like  “synthesis,” “distill” and “transform.”  Coleman also wants those words used the way they are used in college and in life.

Coleman has suggested changes for the math portion as well.  He believes that the new test should concentrate on proportional reasoning, linear equations, and linear functions.  Coleman also believes that the test should require more than just the right answer; it should also require “being able to explain and see the applications of this math.”

The ACT is being revamped, too.  It will no longer be a pencil-paper test.  Instead, the new ACT will be taken on the computer and will include more creative, hands-on questions.

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