Will the new SATs be easier or harder?

Updated: 03/06/2014 5:27 PM
Created: 03/06/2014 4:33 PM WHEC.com
By: Berkeley Brean

One of the most nerve-wracking tests every high school student and their parents face is changing. 

The SAT is dropping those ridiculously hard words that no one uses and making the essay optional. News10NBC wanted to know if it’s going to make the test harder or easier for your child.

News10NBC talked with one of the foremost SAT prep counselors in Monroe County. One of the biggest changes for students will be vocabulary. No more words like obsequious and no more penalties for wrong answers.

John Serafine is the lead counselor at Fairport High School and tutors students all over the county. 

On Thursday, he is going over the SAT with junior Jill Tyburski. She takes the test this spring. But in two years, he’ll be teaching a different test.

John Serafine, lead counselor, Fairport High School, said, “I don't think it's going to make it necessarily easier or more difficult. I think kids might find it more to their liking simply because it's going to remove the high-level, crazy-difficult vocabulary.”

One of the major changes is the test will include a vocabulary with more common words. The total score is back to 1600, eliminating the quarter point penalty for every wrong answer. The essay will also be optional. 

The new SAT will come out by the time this year's freshmen take the test. So students like Tyburski are stuck with the current one. 

Tyburski said, “I think I could be at a disadvantage, but there's no way to know right now because we haven't seen this new test yet. But even with these changes, I still think that it's going to be a test that colleges want us to do, but not really what we do in high school.”

Serafine says the one thing that makes students do better on the SAT is how much they read. He says you can't game the test.

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