Revolutionary Change to the SAT and SAT Training

Khan Academy & the College Board to redesign SAT and include FREE training.

Recently, the Khan Academy and the College Board announced a collaboration to revolutionize the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). In America, the SAT is a standardized test that represents a gate keeper of sorts to college acceptance.

The collaboration will “dare to take seriously the corruptions that has risen around the exam process … the perception that costly test preparation has made the ground uneven,” said David Coleman, President and CEO of the College Board.

SAT Training

For the first time, SAT authors will work with preparation course writers to design the materials. It will be designed for understanding the concepts that ensure success in college, the SAT and life in general. What’s even better is that the resulting content will be 100% free.

“The SAT should reward merit and hard work, and success on the exam should be available to all. There is no better statement of our commitment to making the SAT a world-class, high-quality, and fair test than partnering with Khan Academy to provide free SAT preparation for the world,” said David Coleman, President and CEO of the College Board.

Traditionally, students would spend a fortune on materials and classes to help them with the exams. These courses would even prepare students by teaching them ‘tricks’ to ‘cheat’ the test as opposed to actually ensuring understanding of the content. The new free courses from the Khan Academy will focus on knowledge, as opposed to the ‘when in doubt pick C’ mentality.

“It’s really about a close collaboration where we work together and not just to make a ‘hey you know if you can’t afford something here’s something nice.’ But to make something truly world class so that we can make something as good or better than any of the high cost courses or materials but do it for free,” said Sal Kahn, founder of the Khan academy.

The Khan Academy material will be available to students by spring of 2015. It will include tasks, diagnostics, video and more. In the meantime SAT practice is available in the form of real SAT questions and step-by-step solutions.

The New Exam

It appears that the new exam looks to focus on evidence, comprehension and a grasp of how it all relates to real life. This link to real life is something often lacking in examinations. No more will students be expected to remember obscure words or math they will forget come frosh week. Instead, the exam will focus on what you need to know to be a successful college student – and a successful person too.

“What should be a factor is the quality of your practice and your command of mathematics for example. Which is to command a few things well. So as we redesign the exam we’re allowing kids to really focus on the math that matters most, that is the most flexible and widely used and the only way to gain real command of that is through practice,” expressed Coleman.

I like the move to more diverse source materials. This will allow students with varying skill sets to be successful in sections they would otherwise dread. Students can focus on their creativity and parlay it into a better score.

My favourite part of the redesign is a move away from mark deductions. This will allow students the freedom to answer the question to the best of their ability and originality without fear of being wrong. After all, don’t we learn better when we’re allowed to make mistakes?

Current SAT 2016 Redesigned SAT For Against Comment

    For, Against and Comments columns are’s take on the changes.
    Not asked to use evidence in Reading/Writing sections Reading/Writing section is evidence Based
    Source Documents have a small range of academic disciplines (lacking science or historical sources) Source Documents have a wide range of Academic sources (Science, History, Social Studies…)
    Obscure vocabulary focus Widely used college and career vocabulary focus
    Essay arguments based on background and experience (hard to verify) Essay tests ability to analyze and explain evidence an author uses
    Math section tests wide range of high school-level math Fewer math topics – focuses on what is needed for college and careers Unknown if this cut could hurt STEM.

    Calculators permitted Calculators permitted on some portions
    Reading/Writing has no data analysis Analysis of text and data to real world problems. Identify and correct inconsistencies
    Source documents are unknown and not widely used Source documents will be from US Founding Documents and Great Global Pieces Enjoy that the material is better known. However, American focus could harm newcomers
    Scores deducted for incorrect answers Scoring does not deduct points
    Essay required Essay optional
    Scale of 2400 Scale of 1600 (Essay separate score) Indifferent
    Paper only format Paper and digital formats

    Source Khan Academy  

    Resource College Board

    Written by

    Shawn Wasserman

    For over 10 years, Shawn Wasserman has informed, inspired and engaged the engineering community through online content. As a senior writer at WTWH media, he produces branded content to help engineers streamline their operations via new tools, technologies and software. While a senior editor at, Shawn wrote stories about CAE, simulation, PLM, CAD, IoT, AI and more. During his time as the blog manager at Ansys, Shawn produced content featuring stories, tips, tricks and interesting use cases for CAE technologies. Shawn holds a master’s degree in Bioengineering from the University of Guelph and an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.