SAT Exam Announces Major Change, But Will It Affect Local Students?

      Future high school juniors and seniors will soon see a big difference in the college exam they take, if they choose the SAT Exam.
      The College Board, which administers the test, announced Wednesday it's changing the way it assesses students.
      Siouxland News Reporter Beairshelle Edmé tells us how students feel about the change and why it may not affect them.

      By 2016, the SAT will not only change back to a 1600 point scale, it's also making the essay optional, testing more common vocabulary and removing the penalty for wrong answers.

      After some evaluation, the College Board said the way it's testing students is too "disconnected" to the classroom.

      That's why they're also changing the math section to mirror what's in the textbooks.

      For most students throughout Siouxland, they'll take the ACTs but for those who've already taken the SAT, they said they're surprise there's been changes.

      "Um, sounds kind of nice (laughs). Um it wasn't too bad but um minus the essay 'cause you know why not, not have to write an essay," Bishop Heelan student Abby Kaohout.

      "Well I think that the essay is important to the test. I think that student's need to know how to write when they go to college or they're going to have a really rude awakening," said Brittani Porath, a graduating senior at Heelan.

      Both students we spoke with say they're aren't sold on the changes and they'd still prefer the ACT, as do most in the region.

      And it's no surprise.

      The SAT has been losing its footing to the ACT for several years.

      In 2013, 1.8 million students took the ACT 1.7 million took the SAT.

      Despite the love-hate relationship most teens have with test, changes or not, Kaohout agrees with some experts that these tests are necessary.

      "You know, you might be better at taking the SAT then you were at a specific class if you had a rough time with the class or the specific class or the specific teacher, you know the test might give you a certain advantage," said junior, who will graduate a year early this spring.

      Other key changes include a fee-waiver for the low-income students.

      Also, a free online prep course, through Khan Academy, will be offered.

      And the College Board will also allow students to take the exam on a computer.

      If you have a story you want to tell or an incident you think needs to be investigated, our reporter Beairshelle Edmé wants to hear about OR