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New Changes for SAT Exams, Including Free Test Prep

The College Board announced big changes yesterday for SAT exams, including a return to the perfect 1600 score, an optional essay and a partnership that provides free test prep.

Speaking at event in Austin, Texas, College Board president David Coleman said he was looking to shake things up when it comes to the college-entrance exam, which about 1.5 million students take each year, according to The Washington Post.

Shaking things up means replacing arcane vocabulary words that test takers often fret over with words that are more frequently used in college and in a career, the Post reports. Also gone is the perfect score of 2400, which increased from 1600 because of a required essay. That essay will now be optional.

Coleman also took a swipe at expensive test-prep centers that are mostly reserved for kids from more affluent families.

"Too many feel that the prevalence of test prep and expensive coaching reinforces privilege rather than merit," Coleman said at the event.

He then announced a partnership between the College Board and Kahn Academy, the free online resource created by MIT graduate Salman Kahn, which will provide free SAT test prep.

The changes will take effect in 2016.

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