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Change dumbs down SAT standards

40B-satThe College Board announced that starting in 2016, SAT test-takers will no longer be required to write an essay.

With that, the now three section, 2400 point maximum test will be condensed to two sections with a 1600 as the possible maximum score. The optional essay will be graded on a separate scale that is still under consideration.

Also, the reading and the math portions of the SAT will be revised. For example, obscure vocabulary words will be removed and the math problems will be less theoretical.

According to College Board officials, the change is part of an effort to make the exam comply with what the students learned in high school and what they need for college. Also, it is an effort to save the students money who think they will gain the upper hand from expensive private tutoring. In other words, the board is making an easier exam.

The dropping of the essay may pose a problem for many colleges who use the essay as an influential part of their admissions process. It is too early to tell whether some colleges, such as those in the UC system, will still require students to submit essays.

Dropping the essay portion will indeed make the test easier for students and may save them money on private tutoring. It might even save some students money if they are satisfied with their scores from a less rigorous exam rather than taking it multiple times.

However, the bottom line is college students need to know how to write. The power of the written word is highly underestimated in today’s digital driven society. Colleges should still require the submission of an essay in order to gauge the writing level of the prospective student, even if College Board does not.

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