The SAT college entrance exam is slated for another overhaul, amid a time when a rival test has stolen its market share and some universities have stopped requiring an admissions test altogether.
An incentive to take the SAT, as opposed to the rival ACT, could be fee waivers for applications to four colleges or universities.
The SAT has been criticized for reflecting the education of children from higher-income families, not what a student actually learns in the classroom. There also has been strong reaction to test cramming that boosts scores, but may not reflect actual learning from kindergarten through 12th grade.
The redesign, the second this century, will make the written essay optional, drop vocabulary words not in common use and focus the math section more on critical thinking and problem solving. And it will once again be possible to achieve a perfect 1600 score, according to SAT officials.
SAT plans to post its own website with tutorials to help students prepare for the test and will stop deducting points for wrong answers on multiple choice questions, which encourages students to leave some questions blank rather than go with their best guess.