By Lillian Bowe
PNT staff writer
One of the major college entrance exams, the SAT, is changing, but for local students, it has little to no effect.
College Board officials said Wednesday it changed the test to more represent what students are studying in high school and what skills they need to succeed in college and afterward, according to the Associated Press.
SAT has not seen major changes since 2005 when it added the mandatory essay portion.
The essay portion will now be optional just like the other college entrance exam, the ACT.
There will also be no penalties for wrong answers and the test can be taken on a computer. The ACT will be enacting computer-based testing in 2015 as well.
The test will be going back to the 1,600-point scale last used in 2004 and the optional essay will have a separate score.
The new test will be used in 2016 as this year’s freshmen will be the ones taking the test.
According to Melvin Nusser, principal of Portales High School, the test that is predominately taken by the students is the ACT.
“Very few students take the SAT,” Nusser said.
The same can be said at Eastern New Mexico University as most of the students who apply to ENMU have taken the ACT according to Cody Spitz, director of enrollment at the school.
ENMU requires a 810 on the SAT on the 1,700 point scale, but since the scale is going down, the score could change.
Spitz said he does not know at this time if the 810 score will change.
In other changes, the math portion of the test will only allow a calculator on certain questions instead of on the entire math portion and the addition of vocabulary words that are more widely used in the classroom and in work settings.