New SAT delayed until Spring of 2016

In a surprise move, the president of the College Board, David Coleman, announced today that the College Board will push back the release of the new SAT one full year – until Spring of 2016. Apparently the College Board needs more time to get its Common Core ducks in a row and create a test that can compete with the ever-surging ACT. This decision will certainly cost the College Board market share, as the ACT has already rocketed past 1.8 million annual test-takers and shows no sign of slowing down. As ACT, Inc., locks down more and more state-wide contracts, pressure continues to mount on the College Board to revise its flagship assessment.

The College Board will administer a preview PSAT in October of 2015 in preparation for a March 2016 SAT release. Current 9th graders will be the first students to take the new SAT. The members of the sophomore class are off the hook! Their choices will remain today’s SAT or ACT. Current freshmen, however, will have a much broader array of options: the vocabulary-laden SAT in its present form, the upcoming Common-Core-aligned SAT, and the paper and digital versions of the ACT. Change is still on the horizon, but now it seems we have more time to prepare.

Read below for the Collegeboard letter:

Dear Members,

I want to provide you with an important update on our work to revise the College Board’s assessment system so that we can best serve our higher education members and propel students forward into opportunity and success.
We have made the decision to adjust our schedule for this work and will now release the revised PSAT/NMSQT® in fall 2015, followed by the release of the revised SAT® in spring 2016. We heard clearly from our members — including our Board of Trustees, national and regional councils, the SAT committee, attendees at our national Forum, and particularly those in higher education — that you need more time, and we listened.

Our top priority remains the same. Working in partnership with our members, we will deliver a redesigned assessment system that best serves higher education and propels students toward success in college and work.

This change in the timing of the redesign will serve our members in higher education by providing two years to plan for the redesigned exam, familiarize themselves with changes, and meet system and publication requirements. The insight and input of admission professionals, who interact with our assessments on a daily basis, has been particularly instrumental in helping us to make this decision. We will continue to collaborate with admission professionals to develop useful resources for higher education institutions.

We have also heard the needs of states and districts. The K–12 community has expressed a strong preference for students to be able to take the revised PSAT/NMSQT before the revised SAT. Releasing the revised PSAT/NMSQT in the spring of 2015 will address this need, and we will continue to communicate with state and district leaders regarding this important work.

Our goal is to deliver an assessment system that is focused, useful, and clear. Member input will continue to be integral to this work, and we are committed to providing you with timely communications as we develop exams that best serve higher education and students. We look forward to sharing additional information regarding the redesign of our exams in the spring.

Thank you for your continued support.

David

 


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