Local News

New Changes On Way For SATs

Posted February 25, 2005 4:14 a.m. EST

— High school students are getting ready to take the new SAT and college admissions offices are getting ready to receive it.

In addition to multiple choice questions, the new test has one big fill-in-the-blank, an essay question. Tommy Griffin, director of admissions at North Carolina State University, said it will take time to understand the meaning of the essay score.

"Does it predict how well they will do in English classes? What does it tell us about their successes?" he said. "We'll make our decision from there."

Wake County schools are using an online practice program to get ready because that essay can affect scores. Eric Chancy, guidance counselor at Apex High School, is helping students who are the first to take the new test.

"If the question is, 'Why is the sky blue?' and you don't speak to 'Why is the sky blue,' there is a zero for your score," Chancy said.

"I already took the old one. Now, I have to take the new one and I did good on the old one. I don't want to take this one and mess up," student Nicole Hubbard said.

Some students may find the new SAT harder, while others may find it easier. The new SAT is now three sections instead of two. Plus, a perfect score is now 2,400 points instead of 1,600. Either way, the test is definitely longer, nearly four hours instead of three.

The UNC System will no longer accept scores from the old SAT after the fall of 2005. In addition to the essay, the math portion now includes Algebra II.