SAT Changes Fair or Dumbed Down?

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STAUNTON, Va. (WHSV) -- Indolent, sycophantic, effervescent and panegyric are just some examples of infamous "SAT words"; however, those kinds of words will no longer be a cornerstone of the new SAT.

"The redesigned SAT will instead focus on words students will use over and over again that open worlds to them," said David Coleman, the president of The College Board.

The new test will put such words in context. Other changes show an effort to move the test beyond the bubbles, by having students back up their answers with evidence. The essay will become optional, and there will no longer be a penalty for wrong answers.

"There's going to be more interpretation of literature, there's going to be more work in the sciences on the new SAT. They're bringing in the kinds of questions they now ask on the subject tests, from what I gather. In many ways it's going to be perhaps even a more rigorous test than the present SAT," said Russ Ingersoll, an independent college counselor.

The question remains, what do the changes mean for students taking the test to try to get into college?

"I don't think that this is going to be a game-changer," said Ingersoll.

He said studies for years have shown that students' work in high school predicts better how they'll do in college than does the SAT.

"My message for students is to continue to do your very best in school and to maximize your performance in your academics," said Ingersoll.

The changes go into effect in 2016, meaning this year's ninth graders will be the first high school graduating class to take the new test, according to Ingersoll.

The College Board plans to release sample questions next month. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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