You may not realize it, but someone just dropped a (stress) bomb on your employees with middle and high school students. College Board, the organization responsible for the SAT, PSAT and Subject and Advanced Placement tests, among others, just announced big changes to the SAT—and tensions are high.
What will this mean for current high school freshmen, who will be the first to sit for the new test? How will the changes affect scoring, and will the new exam be significantly harder than the old one? How will colleges evaluate these new scores? Will they want to see the now optional Writing section scores anyway? Can and should students still prep for the new test? How will all of these uncertainties affect your employee parents as their children begin the college process?
The 2005 SAT Changes: (Almost) Gone, But Not Forgotten
These are just some of the many, many questions employees are now asking of our experts, most of whom lived through something similar during the last major SAT overhaul in 2005. That year, College Board changed the Verbal section to Critical Reading and added Writing, while keeping Math the same. These alterations affected test scoring, so that a composite score featuring a possible 1600 total points for Math and Verbal could now equal 2400 points including Math, Critical Reading and Writing. In addition, claims abounded that there was no way to prepare for the new writing section—students had to wait for the test date and hope for the best.
As an admissions officer at the University of Pennsylvania that year, I remember well how the SAT changes caused incredible angst and uncertainty in the college-bound population who came through our doors on campus visits, sat with us at high school college nights, and stopped by our tables during college fairs. Parents and students got different information everywhere they turned, and struggled to understand the different policies at different schools.
So What Should Employee Families Do to Adjust?
As we’re seeing from the countless questions coming in through the College Coach portal, these new changes are spawning similar levels of anxiety. The good news is that our experts are well-equipped to handle these questions and reduce some of that college stress, in part by helping families understand what the new SAT changes are and how they’ll affect the college admissions process.
College Coach recently wrote a great blog explaining the major upcoming changes to the SAT in conjunction with our trusted test prep partner, Revolution Prep. More will follow as we speak to colleges and begin to get a feel for things like how optional that writing section really is. We encourage employee families to take a deep breath and stay tuned!