The Principles Behind Assessment Redesign

The redesigned assessment system focuses on a deeper understanding of the few things shown by current research to matter most for college readiness and success. Instead of requiring a wide but shallow understanding of many concepts, the redesigned assessments clearly and transparently focus on key concepts and require the analytic, interpretive skills practiced in the best K–12 course work today. The assessment redesign centers on these key changes:
  • Words in context. Students engage in close reading to interpret the meanings of relevant vocabulary words.
  • Command of evidence. Students are asked to interpret, synthesize, and use evidence found in a wide range of sources; support their chosen answers; and integrate information from passages and informational graphics.
  • Essay analyzing a source. Students taking the SAT with Essay read a passage and explain how the author builds an argument to persuade an audience.
  • Math that matters most. Students encounter questions that focus on Problem Solving and Data Analysis, mastery of linear equations (Heart of Algebra), and familiarity with more complex equations (Passport to Advanced Math).
  • Problems grounded in real-world contexts. Questions directly relate to college and career work with charts, graphs, and passages from science, social science, and other majors and careers.
  • Analysis in science and in history/social studies. Students apply their reading, writing, language, and math skills to solve problems in a broad array of contexts.
  • U.S. founding documents and the great global conversation with either an excerpt from one of the U.S. founding documents or a text from the ongoing global conversation about freedom, justice, and human dignity
  • No penalty for guessing. Students will earn one point for each correct answer.
Above information from CollegeBoard, September 2015