A new era for standardized testing

Daniel Li, Author

Palo Alto High School's College Advisor Sandra Cernobori works at her desk in the College Center. In light of the changes implemented to the SAT, Cernobori recommends students to take the new SAT so that they can use the PSAT as a study took.  Photo by Cooper Lou.
Palo Alto High School College Advisor Sandra Cernobori works at her desk in the College and Career Center, answering questions and giving advice to those beginning their college application process. Cernobori recommends juniors to take the redesigned SAT next March so that they can use the newly modified PSAT as a study tool. Photo by Cooper Lou.

For the 2015-2016 school year, high school students throughout the United States will witness changes to the standardized tests used in college admissions, including the SAT, PSAT and ACT. These adjustments will have a considerable impact on students who graduate in 2017, leaving them to decide whether they should take the current SAT, act as guinea pigs for the redesigned SAT or take the newly revised ACT.

The introduction of 2016’s new SAT has brought stress to at least several Palo Alto High School juniors who wish to take the current SAT and not the new version of the test. Many students in the past took the SAT second semester of their junior year, but now, juniors only have until the end of 2015 to take the current SAT.

“There’s a lot more pressure to do well on the old SAT, since my parents have spent so much money on classes,” junior Michelle Leong said. “There’s a larger time constraint because they stop offering the old SAT in January.”

Instead of sticking with the SAT, some students have responded to the SAT’s revisions by preparing for the ACT instead.

“I’m the kind of person that needs more time to study for tests such as these,” junior John Liu said. “Having to take the SAT this fall is a huge time crunch, and I will probably not have enough time to prepare. With the SAT changing this school year, everything becomes more complicated, so I decided just to prepare for the ACT.”

Click on the links below for more detailed information on the respective changes to be implemented to the SAT, PSAT and ACT this school year.

SAT: Redesigned exam to debut in 2016

PSAT: New changes in accordance with the redesigned SAT

ACT: New score indicators and essay

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