Brace yourselves for the spring of 2016 — a redesigned SAT in Walnut Creek (as well as elsewhere in the U.S.) is in the offing. Yes, you’ve heard that right. There are changes coming to the SAT beginning in March.

The College Board has announced that it will be launching major changes on the SAT test which will be officially introduced in March 2016. According to College Board president and CEO David Coleman, today’s standardized tests have become “far too disconnected from the work of our high schools.” Coleman also announced programs that will allow students from the low-income bracket to have more access to a college education. These students will be given a fee waiver which enables them to apply to four colleges — at no charge at all. The College Board partners with the Khan Academy to provide free test preparation tools such as online practice problems, which have just been rolled out during the spring of 2015.

The soon-to-be revised SAT reveals changes that are not really minor — in fact, these are quite radical changes. It has been 11 years since the SAT saw major adjustments, from the structure of the test itself down to the scoring. Here are some of the new things students will expect when they encounter the redesigned SAT in Walnut Creek in March 2016:

  • Test hours will now be altered from 3 hours 45 minutes to 3 hours, with an optional 50-minute essay.
  • From 2400, the SAT will go back to the old 1600-point scale, with top scores of 800 on math and 800 on what will now be referred to as “evidence-based reading and writing.” Since the essay is optional as mentioned, its scores will be separately evaluated.
  • The current SAT imposes a 1/4 guessing penalty for students who pick incorrect answers. However, this will be omitted in the new SAT, so students will never be penalized for guessing on questions again.
  • The current SAT is available only on paper. With the revised SAT, the test will be administered both by print and computer.

With these upcoming major changes, many people and the College Board itself hope that the SAT will be more focused, clearer, and more open. And most of all, they also hope that the revised test will more reflect what a student has done and learned in high school.

The College Board also hopes that the newly-revamped SAT will reduce the need for the intense, exclusive coaching and tutoring that only the affluent students can afford.

However, there are still people who will always want an edge and to get ahead academically. Despite the announcement of impending change on the SAT, many students still want to improve their answering skills with the help of other individuals (such as a personal home tutor) or entities (such as prep schools).

That is why these students (and their parents as well) want to hire competitive college preparatory schools, such as Apex College Prep. They exactly know that these prep schools are able to give the children not only the necessary skills, but also the confidence and inspiration that they need to exceed.

For the students who will graduate in 2017 and onwards, this announcement should give them a sigh of relief. It will also allow them to prepare as a way of adjusting themselves to the major changes on SAT in Walnut Creek.