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Khan Academy to help current students now as SAT is redesigned for 2016

Founder of The Khan Academy Sal Khan attends the New York Times 2013 DealBook Conference in New York
Photo by Larry Busacca

The Khan Academy is partnering with the College Board for free SAT test preparation, both announced Wednesday on their respective websites. The SAT will be revamped for 2016, the College Board also announced. Current high school students will be taking the current version and the Khan Academy is offering to help at no charge.

Help for current students

Current juniors and seniors must take the current SAT with its short-comings. The College Board has partnered with the Khan Academy to provide free test-preparation programs and resources. Sign up is available for teachers to sign up their class, parents to sign up their child, and students to directly sign up using their email, Google or Facebook account.

Students taking the SAT in 2014-15 may begin practicing now with the Khan Academy’s free tutorials, hundreds of videos and sample questions with step-by-step solutions.

The collaboration will continue with the redesigned SAT and is forged as an alternative to costly test prep courses.

SAT redesigned for spring 2016

The College Board says, "The redesigned SAT will focus on the knowledge and skills that current research shows are most essential for college and career readiness and success.” Changes include:

  • Eliminating obscure words in favor of relevant vocabulary used in high school, college and beyond
  • Incorporating different disciplines including science, history and social studies
  • Using excerpts from the Founding documents and great global conversation
  • Emphasizing real-world relevance for college and careers
  • Making the essay optional
  • Scoring going back to the 1600-point scale
  • Right-only scoring replacing the penalty for wrong answers

The PSAT/NMSOT will change in October 2015 to allow students to take the redesigned SAT in spring of 2016.

Reason for changes

Studies show the best predictor of student success in higher education is how well they performed in high school. Colleges also have considered results from SAT and ACT tests taken by a majority of students. To be an effective college admission tool, these tests must measure student readiness to tackle college level work effectively. A growing number of colleges are using the ACT or making the SAT optional. The SAT is being redesigned to meet the challenge of predicting college and career readiness.

Future SAT relevance

The scores on the SAT continues to matter to many colleges making admission and finical aid decisions. According to The Wall Street Journal, employers may also be interested in job applicants' SAT scores.

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