Major changes coming to SAT exams for HS students

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DENVER -- It’s the old standard for high school students, but new changes are coming to the SATs. Bill Huston and Ryan Krug are the founders of Mindfish, an SAT prep program in the Denver area. We asked them to explain the new changes.

“The math section will be very similar to what it has been with the exception that on some sections you will not be able to use a calculator, which will probably frighten some of our high school students out there,” said Huston.

And a writing section introduced in 2005 will now be optional.

“The writing section and the reading section will be combined into one section on reading and writing.”

There will also no longer be a penalty for incorrect answers and no heavy emphasis on so-called “SAT words.”

“They’re trying to make sure that they’re testing what students would be learning through their own curriculum and not necessarily words that would only come up if you had a dictionary in your hand,” said Krug.

Mindfish offers a comprehensive prep program but students don’t have to enroll in classes to master the SAT. Krug and Huston recommend a prep book published by the College Board, as well as a variety of free resources like YouTube videos.

With less of an emphasis on simply learning the test, the College Board hopes these changes will only increase a student’s success.

“The SAT and the college board are trying to make the test more aligned with what students are learning in school, and I think that’s a good thing,” said Huston.

The changes take effect in 2016.

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