Illustration by Nicholas Branch.

Starting on March 5th, the SAT will be making multiple changes to their test. These changes will affect every graduating class after the class of 2016.

The changes are as followed: The essay portion will be option and the time limit will be changed from twenty-five minutes to fifty, there will no longer be a penalty for guessing or selecting a wrong answer, the reading sections will be more evidence based, the vocabulary sections will be more focused on words in extended contexts, there will now be free test preparation from Khan Academy, and most importantly the scoring will be changed from a range of 600-2400 to a range of 400-1600 plus a range of 2-8 on the optional essay portion.

The controversy in these changes is that it makes the test much easier for the class of 2017 and later. Therefore, the scores will almost certainly be higher. How will colleges change their expected scores for who they accept and decline? How will employers do the same with hiring employees? Suddenly a two-part score of 1000, the average in 2014, could now be considered a bad score after the changes are made.

Another thing that will have to change is the test preparation that is provided by both the schools and multiple websites. For example, the old sat preparation given by English teachers was focused on vocabulary words that were specifically chosen to be studied by CollegeBoard. Now, with the new SAT format, the vocabulary given out will have to mainly focus on regular words. The teachers will have to just go more in depth with regular words.

Many websites could provide SAT preparation before, including full test preparation, vocabulary review, essay practice, and much more.Now, there will be free, verified test preparation provided by Khan Academy, which really helps with knowing that the students are studying the correct information when getting ready for the test.

If the SAT really becomes a lot easier, the scores that colleges usually look for from the old SAT would become obsolete. Consequently, the scores that colleges look for applicants to have would have to go up. A way that they might find out whether the scores they look for an applicant to have will have to go up or not, could be using the new PSAT test that came out this October. They could look at what the people who took the PSAT got and base their expected SAT scores on that.