College Admissions Officers Ready for Revamped SAT

By Chris Hassan
Posted September 22, 2013 12:00 PM

Changes to the SAT are on the way.
Changes to the SAT are on the way.

This past February, David Coleman, president of the College Board, sent an email to the nonprofit organization's members explaining that the SAT - the test the College Board owns - will undergo a redesign. In the email, which was reprinted in The Washington Post, Coleman wrote that the SAT will be revamped to reflect the type of work students are expected to complete in college.

"An improved SAT will strongly focus on the core knowledge and skills that evidence shows are most important to prepare students for the rigors of college and career," Coleman wrote.

Coleman believes that a revamped SAT is necessary, and so too do many of the nation's college admissions officers, based on the findings of recent Kaplan Test Prep survey.

Open to Change

To gain a better understanding of how college admissions officers feel about potential bachelor's degree seekers taking a new SAT, Kaplan Test Prep surveyed 422 of these professionals between this past July and August. Overall, 72% of admissions officers believe that it's time for the SAT to change.

At this time, not much is known about what exactly will change come 2015 when the College Board expects to overhaul the SAT. This didn't stop respondents from offering suggestions as to what types of changes they would like to see on the updated SAT. Better aligning the SAT's content with high school curricula and being more sensitive to perceived cultural and socioeconomic biases were two changes survey respondents would prefer. In addition, some admissions officers would like the test's writing section to receive a revamp, become optional or be eliminated entirely.

Students Less Concerned

While students are the ones who take the SAT, they aren't as eager to see the test change as college admissions officers. According to the results of a separate Kaplan Test Prep survey, only 39% of SAT takers believe the assessment should change. At the same time, almost as many SAT takers - 35% - said that changes to the test weren't necessary.

No matter what the College Board has in store for the SAT, Kaplan Test Prep advises prospective college students to be prepared for the revamped test.

"Key things to consider: exams are rarely easier after a major change, and few teens have ever taken a three-hour long computer-based test," said Seppy Basili, vice president of K-12 and college admissions programs at Kaplan Test Prep. "We'll be tracking the changes closely and update our own curriculum accordingly to ensure students are prepared."

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