In , both verbal and math sections were reduced from 75 minutes to 60 minutes each, with changes in test composition compensating for the decreased time. In and , SAT scores were standardized via test equating , and as a consequence, average verbal and math scores could vary from that time forward. However, starting in the mids and continuing until the early s, SAT scores declined: the average verbal score dropped by about 50 points, and the average math score fell by about 30 points.
By the late s, only the upper third of test takers were doing as well as the upper half of those taking the SAT in From to , the number of SATs taken per year doubled, suggesting that the decline could be explained by demographic changes in the group of students taking the SAT. The changes for increased emphasis on analytical reading were made in response to a report issued by a commission established by the College Board. The commission recommended that the SAT should, among other things, "approximate more closely the skills used in college and high school work".
Test-takers were now permitted to use calculators on the math sections of the SAT. Also, for the first time since , the SAT would now include some math questions that were not multiple choice, instead requiring students to supply the answers.
Additionally, some of these "student-produced response" questions could have more than one correct answer. The tested mathematics content on the SAT was expanded to include concepts of slope of a line , probability , elementary statistics including median and mode , and problems involving counting.
The average scores on the modification of the SAT I were similar: on the verbal and on the math. At the top end of the verbal scale, significant gaps were occurring between raw scores and uncorrected scaled scores: a perfect raw score no longer corresponded to an , and a single omission out of 85 questions could lead to a drop of 30 or 40 points in the scaled score.
Corrections to scores above had been necessary to reduce the size of the gaps and to make a perfect raw score result in an At the other end of the scale, about 1. Although the math score averages were closer to the center of the scale than the verbal scores, the distribution of math scores was no longer well approximated by a normal distribution.
These problems, among others, suggested that the original score scale and its reference group of about 10, students taking the SAT in needed to be replaced. Although only 25 students had received perfect scores of in all of , students taking the April test scored a Because the new scale would not be directly comparable to the old scale, scores awarded on April and later were officially reported with an "R" for example, "R" to reflect the change in scale, a practice that was continued until For example, verbal and math scores of received before correspond to scores of and , respectively, on the scale.
It was also suggested that the old policy of allowing students the option of which scores to report favored students who could afford to retake the tests. Other factors included the desire to test the writing ability of each student; hence the essay. The essay section added an additional maximum points to the score, which increased the new maximum score to The mathematics section was expanded to cover three years of high school mathematics.
To emphasize the importance of reading, the verbal section's name was changed to the Critical Reading section. The College Board decided not to change the scores for the students who were given a higher score than they earned. A lawsuit was filed in on behalf of the 4, students who received an incorrect score on the SAT. At the time, some college admissions officials agreed that the new policy would help to alleviate student test anxiety, while others questioned whether the change was primarily an attempt to make the SAT more competitive with the ACT, which had long had a comparable score choice policy.
Still others, such as Oregon State University and University of Iowa , allow students to choose which scores they submit, considering only the test date with the highest combined score when making admission decisions. In order to be admitted to their designated test center, students were required to present their photo admission ticket—or another acceptable form of photo ID—for comparison to the one submitted by the student at the time of registration.
The changes were made in response to a series of cheating incidents, primarily at high schools in Long Island, New York, in which high-scoring test takers were using fake photo IDs to take the SAT for other students. In the event of an investigation involving the validity of a student's test scores, his or her photo may be made available to institutions to which they have sent scores.
Any college that is granted access to a student's photo is first required to certify that the student has been admitted to the college requesting the photo. It was originally known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test. According to the president of the College Board at the time, the name change was meant "to correct the impression among some people that the SAT measures something that is innate and impervious to change regardless of effort or instruction. Test preparation companies in Asia have been found to provide test questions to students within hours of a new SAT exam's administration.
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In order to be admitted to their designated test center, students were required to present their photo admission ticket—or another acceptable form of photo ID—for comparison to the one submitted by the student at the time of registration.
Below is the information that should be present in these notices. The verbal section of the test covered a more narrow range of content than its predecessors, examining only antonyms, double definitions somewhat similar to sentence completions , and paragraph reading. The and score scales would remain in use until The changes for increased emphasis on analytical reading were made in response to a report issued by a commission established by the College Board. The mathematics test introduced in contained free response questions to be answered in 80 minutes, and focused primarily on speed.
The changes were made in response to a series of cheating incidents, primarily at high schools in Long Island, New York, in which high-scoring test takers were using fake photo IDs to take the SAT for other students. At the other end of the scale, about 1. These problems, among others, suggested that the original score scale and its reference group of about 10, students taking the SAT in needed to be replaced. Although one test-taker could be compared to another for a given test date, comparisons from one year to another could not be made. It was also suggested that the old policy of allowing students the option of which scores to report favored students who could afford to retake the tests. By the late s, only the upper third of test takers were doing as well as the upper half of those taking the SAT in