April 3, 2014

Question of the Week: How much have you heard about the changes coming to the SAT, and what are your thoughts?

Mark Borges, sophomore, Hughson High School

Mark Borges, sophomore, Hughson High School

I actually heard about the SAT changes from Twitter, and I might be able to take the changed test, so it will be interesting if I get a higher score. In all honesty, I don’t care – I just need a high score.

Nick Mitchell, sophomore, Central Valley High

After reading information about the new SAT on College Board’s website, I think the changes are good for the most part. I totally support using vocabulary words that are actually common instead of words that are rarely, if ever, used. However, I don’t know if this will alter the test completely because while I’ve never taken the SAT, I’ve taken the PSAT, which is used as a test run for the SAT, and I didn’t encounter any words that were rarely used – that may be different on the SAT, though.

The math also sounds better to me. I prefer focusing on three areas instead of a bunch of other areas and I think it will tell colleges more about a student if they have to prove in-depth knowledge of three specific areas instead of basic knowledge of a bunch of different areas.

The essay also sounds better and I like the fact that you have to explain how the author develops an argument; it shows that you understand the passage. However, I think that the essay should be mandatory. Writing skills are important and I think colleges should be able to compare writing for all students applying to their college.

In the end, I won’t benefit from the new SAT because it won’t be released until the spring of 2016, which will be too late for me since I will already have applied to colleges. But I think current freshmen and below will benefit from it.

Dominique Germann, freshman, Modesto Junior College

I am happy about students having to write a response to a literature essay. Those are often overlooked in the world of college admissions.

Toshali Katyal, junior, Modesto High

Although the changes made to the SAT will not have any effect on me, I do hope they improve scores of those who will be taking it next year. Testing is really stressful, and if these alterations reduce stress, then it will provide a lot of relief to juniors and seniors who plan to take the SAT.

Shelby Sutter, junior, Enochs High School

Since the changes are not happening until 2016, I have not given it any thought.

This question is answered by members of Teens in the Newsroom,

a journalism program for local high school students.

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