According to the College Board, the redesigned SAT continues to emphasize reasoning while adding a clearer, stronger focus on the knowledge, skills, and understandings most important for college and career readiness and success. While they would have you think this substantial revision was demanded by colleges, the trigger seems to have been more economic than academic in nature.
The year 2012 marked the first time more high schoolers took the ACT than the SAT. The margin was only a few thousand more that year, but has ballooned dramatically as teens throughout historically SAT-focused regions like the Northeast discovered the friendlier test out of Iowa City. After nearly nine decades, the SAT’s reign as America’s predominant college entrance exam has ended.
This matters because the new SAT has adopted a great many of the features that once set the ACT apart. But that rival test is not the only profound influence on the new SAT. If the ACT is the new test’s father, Common Core is most assuredly its mother. David Coleman, the current president of The College Board, is considered one of the lead architects of the contentious Common Core State Standards. The new SAT is lashed tightly to the Common Core and integrates all of its major pillars.
While Common Core is maligned in many circles, few dispute the benefit of the higher level thinking skills and academic rigor the standards promote. If Common Core survives the ineptitude of its initial implementation, a standardized test that assesses its standards could become a very powerful and popular instrument, especially as a state exam.
WHAT’S THE SAME?
The College Board still presents the SAT as its flagship college and career readiness
Academically, the SAT integrates the educational priorities of the Common Core. Structurally, this test looks a whole lot like the ACT.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
The Common Core is hardly in favor among students or parents these days. The ACT, on the other hand, is more popular than ever. The big question, then, will be whether students will choose the new SAT over the ACT.