Important Changes to Important Exams


Kaitlyn Hankard

With SATs and PSATs just around the corner, there are some changes you should be aware of.

At 8 am, Saturday, October 3, hundreds of juniors and seniors will take the SAT.

Two weeks later, on Wednesday, October 14, roughly 275 sophomores and juniors will complete the PSAT in the Swartz cafeteria and orchestra room.

The PSAT, a preliminary SAT, according to, serves “as preparation to the SAT” and is “widely used as a major criterion for college admissions.”

However, the PSAT and SAT are undergoing multiple changes. These changes will result in the PSAT from the 2014-2015 school year not matching the SAT in the spring of 2016.

Students who took the PSAT last October and plan on taking the SAT in the spring will take a very different exam.

Thankfully, Ginger Rotz, Swartz counselor, said the new PSAT and SAT will be “more user friendly.”

Do you like the changes being made to the PSAT and SAT?


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Specifically, these changes will include:

  • Vocabulary that is used in everyday context
  • Testing one’s ability to interpret and analyze evidence from multiple sources
  • Analysis in science and social studies
  • An optional writing piece (SAT only)
  • Less obscure math problems

The PSAT will “only be offered on a Wednesday” during school, said Rotz. Also, the scores will now reflect the 3 digit numbers like the SAT.

Students appear to have mainly positive reactions to these alterations.

Junior Fata Salkic said these changes “would make it easier to take the test.”

Junior Justin Yuen is also glad “it will be easier.” Additionally, he thinks students will benefit from the scores being “like the SATs.”

For more information on these changes and tips for preparation, check out