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As SAT Enters a New Era This Week, Students Say the Exam Has Improved

But perhaps the most important change to the retooled college admission test that debuts this week for hundreds of thousands of students nationwide lies in its approach to what they learn in high school. The new version of the SAT aims more than ever to measure core skills taught in school, such as reading charts, analyzing evidence and applying algebra in mathematical problems.

The College Board, which owns the 90-year-old test, sought to purge the tricky questions — akin to brain teasers — that were vestiges of what used to be called a “scholastic aptitude” measurement. The theory behind aptitude testing was to find innate potential in students regardless of where they went to school. Now the SAT is officially described as an achievement test meant to reward those who study hard in class.