Author Topic: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement  (Read 439 times)

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Offline jmyrlefuller

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SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« on: March 05, 2014, 03:48:11 PM »
http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2014/03/05/college-board-sat-will-return-to-1600-point-scale-drop-essay-requirement?src=usn_tw&src=usn_fb

by Allie Bidwill
March 5, 2014

The College Board announced Wednesday across-the-board changes to the SAT college admissions test – including a return to the 1600-point scoring scale and a departure from the mandatory timed essay – as well as new initiatives to promote equity and opportunity for college-bound students.

Beginning in the spring of 2016, students will take a redesigned SAT the board says focuses on more relevant vocabulary words that "students will use consistently in college and beyond," draws from fewer math topics and does not deduct points for incorrect answers, as it has done in the past. The essay section, which was first made mandatory in the SAT's 2005 revamp that also established its current 2400-point scale, now will be optional and separately scored.

"We must certainly ask ourselves if we are, together or as a group, doing all we can to advance equity and excellence," College Board President David Coleman said while announcing the changes at the South by Southwest Education conference in Austin, Texas. "Because if you look around, it sure doesn't look like it."

[READ: More Early Education Funds, New Race to the Top in Obama's 2015 Budget]

"It is time to admit the SAT and ACT have become far too disconnected from the work of our high schools," Coleman added.

Coleman also announced several initiatives to give more support to high-performing students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including an initiative that will give every income-eligible SAT test-taker four fee waivers to apply to college.

"It is time for the College Board to move from measuring to acting," Coleman said. "Once the test is over, the real work of delivering and propelling students into opportunity begins."

The College Board recently found that just 43 percent of American students are ready for college – a statistic that has remained stagnant for five years. Additionally, Coleman said, most students who come from the lowest income quintile, but score in the highest SAT range, do not apply to more competitive colleges.

[ALSO: Obama Announces $400 Million in Education Technology Commitments]

The College Board also will partner with Khan Academy to offer free SAT test preparation materials to every student. College admissions tests, including the SAT and the ACT, have been heavily criticized by those who say they unintentionally favor students from wealthier families with the means to pay for preparation that gives students access to what Coleman called the "secrets" of the tests.

"It is time for the College Board to say in a clear voice that the culture and practice of test preparation that now surrounds admissions exams drives the perception of inequality and injustice in our country," Coleman said. "We cannot stand aside and say, 'We made a good test, what happens before and after is not our fault.' It may not be our fault, but it is our problem."

The material through Khan Academy will be made available in the spring of 2015. In addition, students who will be taking the current version of the SAT will have the opportunity to access "hundreds of previously unreleased practice problems from actual SAT exams" through Khan Academy, according to the College Board.

"For too long, there's been a well-known imbalance between students who could afford test-prep courses and those who couldn't," Sal Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy, said in a statement. "We're thrilled to collaborate closely with the College Board to level the playing field by making truly world-class test-prep materials freely available to all students."
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2014, 04:18:53 PM »
In other words kids coming out of high school can't write so drop the requirement.
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Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2014, 04:49:10 PM »
In other words kids coming out of high school can't write so drop the requirement.
Not so fast. The writing requirement came out only a few years ago. It wasn't around yet when I took the SAT not that long ago.

It appears more of a failed experiment than anything.
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Offline Rapunzel

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2014, 05:54:31 PM »
http://www.theblaze.com/stories/2014/03/05/they-just-announced-major-changes-to-the-satand-theres-a-tie-to-common-core/

They Just Announced Major Changes to the SAT…and There’s a Tie to Common Core

Mar. 5, 2014 3:41pm Dave Urbanski   


The SAT college entrance exam will no longer require a written essay or penalize students for wrong answers, part of a major overhaul announced Wednesday.
students

The sweeping revisions were unveiled by David Coleman, president of the College Board, who also is the architect of the Common Core State Standards Initiative.

Coleman said the SAT should offer “worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles.” The new version will be rolled out in 2016.

The New York Times highlighted a sample of the changes coming:
Quote

    The SAT’s rarefied vocabulary words will be replaced by words that are common in college courses, such as “empirical” and “synthesis.” The math questions, now scattered widely across many topics, will focus more narrowly on linear equations, functions and proportional thinking. The use of a calculator will no longer be allowed on some of the math sections. The new exam will be available on paper and computer, and the scoring will revert to the old 1600 scale, with a top score of 800 on math and what will now be called “Evidence-Based Reading and Writing.” The optional essay will have a separate score.


“By changing the exam’s focus, we change the learning and work the SAT invites. Today, many students who are terrified they will be tested on lots of SAT words have one recourse: flashcards,” Coleman said in a statement. “Every educator knows flashcards are not the best way to build real word knowledge, but when the SAT rolls around they become the royal road. Students stop reading and start flipping.”

Coleman added to the Times that the exam will be emphasizing skills and evidence-based thinking students should be learning in high school, therefore lessening the need for test-taking tricks and strategies.

The required essay never gained popularity with most college admissions officers, the Times noted, as few figure the score into admission decisions. And many used essays only occasionally as raw writing samples to help determine the degree to which parents, consultants and counselors had edited and polished essays submitted with applications.

Some of the other changes the Times noted:

   
Quote
The reading and writing section will include source documents from a broad range of disciplines, including science and social studies, and on some questions students will be asked to select the quote from the text that supports the answer they’ve chosen.

    Every exam will include a reading passage from either one of the nation’s “founding documents,” such as the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights, or from one of the important discussions of such texts, such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.”

    One longstanding critique of the SAT has been that students from wealthier households do better because they can afford expensive test preparation classes; therefore low-income students will now be given fee waivers allowing them to apply to four colleges at no charge, adding that before the new exam kicks in, the College Board, in partnership with Khan Academy, will offer free online practice problems from old tests and instructional videos showing how to solve them.


The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2014, 09:09:35 PM »
Not so fast. The writing requirement came out only a few years ago. It wasn't around yet when I took the SAT not that long ago.

It appears more of a failed experiment than anything.

undoubtedly; trying to write an essay under time pressure is a sure way to get something that reflects little on the student's ability to write.

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2014, 09:17:19 PM »
undoubtedly; trying to write an essay under time pressure is a sure way to get something that reflects little on the student's ability to write.
No essay during the 1960s that I recall.

Testing by the US military measures all kinds of aptitudes, with high accuracy. Without essay questions.

I'm sure the SAT and ACT to as well. All this changing is mostly political correctness trying to account for lower test scores from ethnic groups, and their desire that what is so, not be so. ie. lower IQs.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2014, 09:21:31 PM »
No essay during the 1960s that I recall.

Testing by the US military measures all kinds of aptitudes, with high accuracy. Without essay questions.

I'm sure the SAT and ACT to as well. All this changing is mostly political correctness trying to account for lower test scores from ethnic groups, and their desire that what is so, not be so. ie. lower IQs.

There wasn't any essay when I took it in the 1980s either.

Offline EC

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2014, 10:22:49 PM »
Essay questions have a value. They showcase the ability of a student to arrange their thoughts logically and provide evidence to back up any assertions they make.

One of the military aptitude tests we have here is the opposite of an essay question. You are given an essay and have to pick out only the salient points in order of importance. It shows you can analyze rapidly.
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Offline Atomic Cow

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2014, 10:27:40 PM »
Never had to do writing on the SAT, ACT, or SAT II tests.

I did have to for the GRE, but that's for people going to grad school, and is truly nothing but a overly glorified SAT test.

Personally, I think all of these tests are a waste of time.

I suck at taking timed, standardized tests, but I do very well academically.  I had a good friend in college like that.  Graduated with a 3.95 GPA, but do so bad on her LSAT she almost didn't get into law school.  Her sister was the opposite, got 1580 something on her SAT, and barely squeaked out of A&M with a 2.0.  Then got into grad school on an equally high GRE test score.
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Offline Oceander

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2014, 10:29:14 PM »
Essay questions have a value. They showcase the ability of a student to arrange their thoughts logically and provide evidence to back up any assertions they make.

One of the military aptitude tests we have here is the opposite of an essay question. You are given an essay and have to pick out only the salient points in order of importance. It shows you can analyze rapidly.

I agree they have a value; I just don't think they bring much value-add to the SAT.

Offline jmyrlefuller

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Re: SAT Will Return to 1600-Point Scale, Drop Essay Requirement
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2014, 09:13:09 AM »
No essay during the 1960s that I recall.

Testing by the US military measures all kinds of aptitudes, with high accuracy. Without essay questions.

I'm sure the SAT and ACT to as well. All this changing is mostly political correctness trying to account for lower test scores from ethnic groups, and their desire that what is so, not be so. ie. lower IQs.
Indeed, although I'd like to add that it's not just ethnic groups— essay grading is inherently subjective. In theory, it allows the well-connected and the nepotists' daughters to get their scores inflated. I say in theory because the grading is at least ostensibly anonymous.
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