Although the College Board claims to be a nonprofit company, it still clearly worries about market share. So it comes as no surprise that the new SAT is morphing into its unsophisticated midwestern cousin, the kinder, gentler ACT, which has been trending big time in urban areas on the coasts.
The proposed new version of the SAT, launching in 2016, strives to become more "relevant" by eliminating obscure vocab, ending the penalty for guessing, making the essay optional, allowing computers, and using founding documents such as the Declaration of Independence for reading comprehension.
Sadly, this could be too little too late. These changes could entice even more kids to sharpen their #2s for the tried and true ACT, especially because their SAT tutors will be scrambling to figure out how to update their flashcards.
If the College Board really wants to re-engage test-takers and "deliver opportunity," it will have to alter the SAT to truly make it more relevant for high school students in the following ways:
- Change the start time to 1pm, the hour that most teenagers wake up
- Offer free Red Bull and Frappuccinos - granola bars are so 20th century
- Grant extended time for anyone with anxiety caused by parental helicoptering, overscheduling or Instagram inferiority issues
- Allow unlimited texting and Googling during the exam - essential research skills for college students
- Incorporate advanced hashtag usage into the #grammarandpunctation section.
- Bring back the iconic analogies, the only fun part of the exam - These were deemed culturally biased because of the notorious regatta: oarsman comparison, but most college hopefuls now know all about crew, thanks to the Winklevosses.
- Employ angel investors as proctors - If you can pitch them a good idea, you get to skip college altogether and go straight to running your own start-up.