Sat Essay Optional

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(Yahoo: No more access with Facebook, Google IDs) These are the first SAT upgrades since 2005 when the essay portion was added and analogy questions were removed."Every educator knows flashcards are not the best way to build real word knowledge, but when the SAT rolls around they become the royal road.Students stop reading and start flipping." The essay will be changed in other ways, too.The new essay is now meant to test both reading comprehension and writing abilities; it is composed of three persuasive responses to a passage and prompts.Students must read a passage, form three cohesive arguments and prompts, and write clearly, all in 50 minutes.The change means the SAT essay and ACT writing tests will be optional but recommended, while also reducing barriers that students from low-income families and under-resourced schools may encounter when applying, said Christoph Guttentag, dean of undergraduate admissions.The move will begin with next year’s incoming undergraduate class.The new exam will be rolled out in 2016, so this year's ninth graders will be the first to take it, in their junior year.The new SAT will continue to test reading, writing and math skills, with an emphasis on analysis.It will measure students' ability to analyze and explain how an author builds an argument, instead of measuring the coherence of the writing but not the quality or accuracy of the reasoning.It will be up to school districts and colleges the students apply to as to whether the essay will be required.

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