WHAG NEWS - Some changes are coming to the SAT college entrance exam and high school students and parents will want to listen up.
The renowned dreaded SAT exam was seen as a "make it or break it" opportunity for students to get into the college of their dreams.
High school seniors will be facing a new exam designed to more accurately reflect a student's academic performance.
"In a lot of cases, these students are taking the SAT only once or twice, maybe three times if they have a bad Saturday. That can be reflected in the scores. I would much prefer to see how you did over your four years of high school," said Hood College Vice President of Enrollment Management, Terry Whittum.
Beginning in spring 2016, the test will have three sections: math, reading, writing and an optional essay. The score scale will shift from 2400 back to 1600, with a separate score for the essay.
College Board is making these changes to make students feel less stressed without worrying about surprises and tricks.
"I think frankly, there's also been some push on ACT which has been going and gaining market sharing where the SAT is predominantly been the test," adds Whittum.
Students will no longer be penalized for a wrong answer. Vocabulary words are also being changed; the new words will be more relevant and used in the everyday world.
"Students spend an enormous amount of time; our very very best students spend an enormous amount of time preparing for the SAT," said Don Dellinger, deputy superintendent of Berkeley County Public Schools.
With these changes launching in the spring, the test will be more of an opportunity than a fear.
College Board is expected to release more details about the exam and sample questions in the spring. The launch is held on until spring because it is supposed to allow students, educators, and admission counselors to understand the changes.
School officials say the best way to prepare for the exam is to read and write as much as you can.