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American SAT college entrance test to get a revamp from March 2016

Published on Apr 17, 2014 9:35 AM
A tutor preparing an 11th grader for the SAT on March 6, 2014 in Pembroke Pines, Florida. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Getting into college in the United States will no longer hinge so much on a high-school student's grasp of arcane vocabulary or obtuse mathematical formulas.

Changes to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) unveiled on Wednesday are intended to breathe new vigour into the 88-year-old college entrance exam at a time when some critics are challenging its value.

"The changes to the SAT will distinguish it from any current admission exam," said the College Board, the New York-based non-profit that oversees the test.

To take effect in March 2016, the revamped SAT will spare candidates the need to memorise words like "punctilious" or "lachrymose". Instead, they'll be expected to interpret more common "high-utility" words in the context in which they appear.

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