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Area educators applaud changes coming to 2016 SAT Exam

High school students will need to adjust their preparations after big changes were announced for the SAT college admission test.
Syracuse (WSYR-TV) - High school students will need to adjust their preparations after big changes were announced for the SAT college admission test.

The president of the College Board criticized his own exam this morning - saying it has become disconnected from the work in our high schools.

The new SAT to be released in the spring of 2016 is designed to change that.

The College Board says the new SAT is shifting from its current point scale of 2,400 back to 1,600 - and the essay portion will be optional.

Syracuse University’s School of Education believes it's the right decision.

“The SAT is supposed to be a predictor of how well students will do in their first year of college," said Interim Dean for the School of Education at SU Joanna Masingila. "So I think this is a better match. The content of the test is a better match for what they might be expected to do."

The new exam will end the longstanding penalty for choosing incorrect answers, eliminate obscure vocabulary words students were forced to memorize and bring more real world problem-solving to the math section.

"Instead of having things from across the board, they’re really narrowing in on linear functions, proportions, things that could have real life applications," Masingila said.

At the high school level, educators in the East Syracuse Minoa Central School District believe the changes are more in line with what students are learning everyday.

“This will be more closely aligned with Common Core and of course in New York State everything we're doing is part of meeting the expectations of the New York State learning standards are aligned with the Common Core," said East Syracuse Minoa Central School District Superintendent Dr. Donna Desiato.

The SAT has been losing ground to the ACT - which is said to be based more directly on what's being taught in high school classrooms.

"It was clear from both educational perspective as well as a sound business perspective that they were going to need to look at this carefully," Desiato said. "I think overall this is the step in the right direction."

There will also be new programs to help low-income students prep for the exam.

The College Board and the Khan Academy will offer free online practice problems and instructional videos for students.

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