The SAT will return to a 1600 scale when this year's ninth- graders take the test in 2016. The changes announced this week are mostly good — intended to make the test more democratic and a better gauge of the student's potential for success, not merely the parents' income. The essay becomes optional, the vocabulary words will be more useful and there no longer will be points taken away for wrong answers. Of course, students will still fret, parents will still seek an edge for their child, and the private tutoring industry will adjust. Before we get too worked up about the new SAT and consign the old SAT and its particular anguishes to history, try this one. But remember: We still take points off for the wrong answer, so don't guess.
1. The current SAT is beloved and adored by:
a. All college-bound students and their parents.
b. No one, not even the people who design the test.
c. The tutors who make money selling testing strategies.
d. Okay, the kids whose high scores win them National Merit Scholar- ships and lifelong bragging rights.
2. The chances that the SAT will force you to define a vocabulary word you will never, ever use in real life are:
3. Facing the SAT vocabulary choices, most students were:
d. sick to their stomachs
4. The current SAT angers:
a. Well-off students because their high scores can appear "bought" through expensive test prep.
b. Middle-class students who cannot afford the test prep.
c. Working-class students who have no prayer of affording test prep.
d. Parents who spend thousands of dollars on tutors and get average test scores in return.
5. The current SAT best predicts:
a. A student's success in college.
b. The wealth of their parents.
c. The future earning ability of a student.
d. The ability of a student to take tests.
Note: Your test results will be available in six weeks, and feel free to retake the exam if you are unsatisfied with your score. And there's always the ACT.