SAT Releases Preview Of New Test Questions

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High school students planning to take the SAT in 2016 can now look up sample questions to the new version of the college admissions test.

The College Board, the company that owns the SAT, announced last month that it was making big changes to the test, which has lost ground to the rival ACT test.

Among the key changes:

  1. A move away from “obscure words” to focus on “relevant words, the meanings of which depend on how they’re used.”
  2. “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing and Essay sections” where students will “be asked to demonstrate their ability to interpret, synthesize, and use evidence found in a wide range of sources.”
  3. The essay will now be optional and it ask students to read a passage and explain “how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience.”
  4. Problems will be set in a “real-world” context.
  5. Every test will include a passage from a U.S. “founding document” like the Declaration of Independence, or something from the “great global conversation” about civic life.
  6. There will no longer be a penalty for wrong answers.


  • Ned Johnson, president of Prep Matters, which offers academic tutoring, test preparation and college counseling.
  • Bill Dingledine, independent educational consultant in Greenville, South Carolina. He was on the National Association for College Admission Counseling.
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