March 07, 2014 09:34
The Scholastic Aptitude Tests for university entrance in the U.S. will be put through sweeping changes in 2016.
The written essay, added in 2005, will become optional, and the penalty for wrong answers will be scrapped. The top score will be reduced from the current 2,400 to 1,600.
The SAT is taken by students around the world who are applying for American universities.
The U.S. College Board, which administers the SAT, on Wednesday released the redesign plan, claiming it focuses on strengthening public education.
Standardized tests have become "far too disconnected from the work of high school classrooms," College Board president David Coleman said. Reshaping it to better reflect the common core standards would be a top priority, he added.
The redesign is aimed at creating more opportunities for students by reducing the need for private tutoring. The College Board pledged to provide low-income students with free practice tests and explanations online from spring 2016.
About 6,000 Korean students sit the SAT each year. According to the Education Ministry, some 72,000 Koreans were studying in the U.S. last year, accounting for about a third of the Korean students overseas.
Private education firms compete fiercely to grab a larger share in the domestic SAT crammer, and SAT questions have repeatedly been leaked, leading to the cancellation of the tests here last May.
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