(Correction: The College Board corrected the message sent to members clarifying that the date for the new PSAT/NMSQT® is fall 2015. The original message had two different dates.)
The new version of the SAT college admissions exam that was due to be unveiled in 2015 is now being delayed until spring 2016.
David Coleman, the president of the College Board, the nonprofit organization that owns the SAT, sent the following e-mail to College Board members about the delay:
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 fall 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.
Coleman, a co-author of the Common Core English/Language Arts Exams, became president of the College Board in 2012 and said earlier this year that the SAT would be rewritten to better meet the needs of students. Coleman has said he has a number of problems with the SAT as now written, including with its essay and vocabulary words.
For decades the SAT was the most popular college admissions exam but last year for the first time its rival, the ACT, overtook it. The decision to delay the rollout of the new SAT could give the ACT more time to solidify its position in the college admissions testing contest.
The SAT was first given in 1926. It was revamped less than a decade ago when a written essay was added and some of the question formats were changed.