As students around the nation get ready to start applying for colleges, the test that gets them in is making some changes.
RICHLAND, WA - As students around the nation get ready to start applying for colleges, the test that gets them in is making some changes.
Millions of high schoolers take the SAT every year and this year's freshman will be the first to take the new one.
One big change is the good old-fashioned pen and pencil test is now optional. Students will now be able to take the SAT on a computer if they want to.
Randy Way works at Sylvan Learning in Richland. He says that these changes are good because students react differently to paper and screens.
Another major change, the penalty for wrong answers, which discouraged guessing, is going away.
Way said these changes are beneficial because it takes the pressure off students to study for better scores, but rather allows them to improve their basic knowledge.
"Anything that leads to that is better. So, will we still do SAT prep? Yes. Will more of the focus be on how we do at math, reading and writing? Yes. That's what makes it better," said Way.
As far as vocabulary goes, words you might see on the test today, like prevaricator and sagacious, will be replaced with ones that are more commonly used in classrooms and workplaces like empirical or synthesis.
When the new test rolls out in 2016 it will go back to the 1,600 point system that hasn't been used in ten years.