Taking the erudition out of SAT

Stephanie Simon:

The College Board this morning disclosed more detail about its revamped SAT. The good news for anxious teens: It’s a lot easier in some respects than its previous versions.
 The obscure vocabulary words, meant to bedevil, have been banished. So there’s no need to churn obsessively through flash cards memorizing the definitions of “pellucid” and “crepuscular” and “euphony.” The number of math topics has been winnowed considerably; the exam now focuses intently on algebra, though there are still some questions from other disciplines. The essay is now optional. The College Board will no longer deduct points for incorrect answers.
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 And guessing just got substantially easier: There are now four choices for each multiple choice question, not five.