Revised SAT testing will not bring big changes to future applicants

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    The revised SAT test will not have any major effects on the future of the admission process, Ray Brown, TCU dean of admission, said.

    In March, College Board announced that the revised test will feature an optional writing section, vocabulary that is more relevant to college use, narrower math topics and the elimination of points deducted for missed questions.

    Brown said TCU is an institution that “de-emphasizes standardized tests” from being a large factor in the admissions process, but stressed that they remain important for distribution of scholarships.

    John Hamilton, the academic coordinator emeritus at Paschal High School, said that while some of the SAT test changes are questionable, most are “not a big deal” and “certainly nothing to be afraid of.”

    “The vocabulary is a big deal,” he said. “I don’t want to see College Board act like vocabulary is less important.”

    Changes are going beyond the test itself as well. Along with the revised test, College Board will offer free online tutoring through a new partnership with the Khan Academy.

    Hamilton, who teaches SAT classes at Paschal, does not see this free tutoring as threatening to his tutoring classes because he believes most students work best when they have the motivation and guidance of an in-person tutor rather than a computer screen.

    Students will begin taking the revised test in 2016 with a scoring system that will return to the 1,600-point scale.

    The 2,400-point scale was adopted in 2007. However, Brown said about one-third to one-half of college admissions departments did not adapt to the more recent scoring system.

    Brown said the SAT is “intended to predict freshman grades” and does not measure other aspects valued in an applicant such as drive and passion.

    Although he doesn’t place a high value on the SAT, Brown also said he has doubts in the essay portion of the TCU admission application.

    “I’m getting a little jaded about essays because it’s a little hard to figure out who has actually written these things,” Brown said.