Newly designed October PSAT

Hannah Lee, Asst. News Editor

After 30 years without any major changes, College Board has decided to make significant alterations to the PSAT. Recently, test writers have been designing a revised “enhanced” version of the test for students graduating after 2016.

As for scoring, the revised PSAT will now have similar system to the redesigned SAT. Scores will range from 320-1520, as opposed to the 60-240 range for the current version. College Board claims to have made this change in order to further prepare students for the SAT and provide a general projection of their future SAT score. The lower level of difficulty compared to the SAT resulted in the maximum score to be lowered from 1600.

The redesigned test has been reduced from five answer choices to four and will also no longer have penalties for incorrect answers to coordinate with the new scoring system. The test now includes a longer testing time, with 35 extra minutes and a few more questions. Prior to this change, students had to choose between leaving blanks and guessing, but now they will have a statistically higher chance of accumulating points by blindly marking answers.

Modifications have been made to increase students’ focus on passages and their ability to identify words within passages and present ideas that proved to be most important for career readiness. Students will no longer need to study long lists of vocabulary terms, as the PSAT will now be the ability to identify the meanings of words in context rather than their literal definitions. Grammar will be tested in relation to the passages as well.

College Board has modified the testing sections, calling the new sections evidence-based reading, writing, and math. Math sections will now be more algebra oriented, rather than geometry based.
College Board has stated that they have made these adjustments to correlate more with the general high school program and reflect the new SAT. The newly revised test will be implemented for sophomores and juniors in October of this year.