FHS Juniors and Teachers Prepare for the New SATs

Emily Bisanti, Writer

No longer will students be penalized for guessing on the SATs.

On October 14th, Franklin High School juniors, as well as juniors across Massachusetts, took the PSATs. However, unlike the PSATs taken last year, these tests resembled those that will be administered in March of 2016.

The new SATs vary from the old in more ways than one. Not only is the entire test shorter, but the essay is now optional and will be executed at the end if the student wishes. Instead of the score being out of 2400 as it has since 2005, the scores will be out of 1600.

The two sections of critical reading and writing are combined into one category of “evidence-based reading and writing” consisting of a 65-minute reading section and a 35-minute language and writing section. Along with the reading and writing aspects changing, the math is all new too. There is a 25-minute ‘no calculator’ section and a 55-minute ‘calculator section’.

Both of these changes aren’t only in the format of the test, but the actual content. The entire test is geared towards allowing kids to show their understanding of the key concepts they’ve been taught. While interviewing Ms. Woods, a Guidance Counselor at FHS, she noted that she believes the new test is “more aligned with the curriculum” that students are taught.

Another important change in the SATs is that there will be no score penalty for wrong answers. In the past, test-takers would lose one-quarter  of a point for incorrect answers.

Senior Nicole Walsh explains that she thinks this is a good thing, and says: “You shouldn’t be penalized for trying.”

Guidance counselors will be conducting seminars during direct studies starting soon to discuss the changes with Juniors. To learn more about the new format of the SATs and when to start taking them, go to collegeboard.com and all questions can be answered.