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wapiti

articles on today's announcement about coming changes to SAT (spring 2016)

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I'm glad to see the end of the mandatory essay. It's such a joke and not remotely reflective of any real-world writing task.

 

I'm also glad to see the fee waivers for applying to college for low-income students.

 

The calculator elimination on some of the sections is encouraging but I'd like to see its use completely banned.

 

The vocabulary I'm not happy about. Sounds like a "dumbing down" of the test.

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a few more details:

 

• The SAT will be offered on paper and in digital forms. Currently, it is available only on paper.  (yay!)

 

• Students will have to support reading and writing answers with evidence, such as citing a specific portion of a passage. Currently, students only have to select an answer. (what will this look like??  I worry about this, e.g. more-than-one-right-answer sort of issue)

 

• Source documents will come from a wider range of academic disciplines, with every test including text from science, history and social studies. Every test will include text from one of America’s founding documents or the global conversations they have inspired.

 

• Vocabulary words will be ones “widely used in college and career†rather than the current array of words that are “sometimes obscure.â€

 

• Sentence completions will be eliminated and replaced by analyzing “sequences of paragraphs to make sure they are correct, grammatically and substantively.†(great, paragraph sequences are not my kids' strong suit :tongue_smilie:- think I'd rather have the sentences.)

 

• The essay will require a student to “analyze evidence and explain how an author builds an argument to persuade an audience.†Currently, the essay is based on personal background and experiences without a way to check accuracy.  (glad my dd isn't the first year for this!)

 

• Math questions will be based on three main topics rather than a wide array. The topics are “problem solving and data analysis; the heart of algebra; and passport to advanced math.† (what in the world is "passport to advanced math"?  and aren't problem solving and data analysis two different things??)

 

• A calculator will be permitted only on certain portions of the math section. Currently it is permitted for all sections.

• Points won’t be subtracted for wrong answers. Currently, a quarter point is deducted for a wrong answer, but no points are deducted for a blank answer.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/news/education/2014/03/05/College-Board-revamps-SAT-college-entrance-exam-for-spring-2016/stories/201403050202#ixzz2v7ZPgaVv

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Dd is so happy to have the essay gone!

 

Looks like it will be optional, like the ACT.  Don't most colleges require the writing portion of the ACT?

 

At least the essay would be 50 minutes, much better than 25.

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"The new optional essay will be more closely linked to the texts presented to students, requiring more analysis based on evidence and citations to material in the question prompt and less riffing on personal opinions and possibly untruthful narratives, officials said."

That is so true! I recently had to take a standardized test that included a timed essay and I totally bluffed my way through it. What I wrote MIGHT have been true (I actually have no idea of its veracity) but it sounded plausible and that's all that matters on these kinds of tests. As a Christian, I'm not going to intentionally lie, but with the stupid constraints of the task, I wrote it and just hoped that it was accurate.

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Looks like it will be optional, like the ACT. Don't most colleges require the writing portion of the ACT?

 

At least the essay would be 50 minutes, much better than 25.

I should have said that she's happy that silly essay form will be gone. It makes much more sense for students to write from a text or document.

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Sounds like they're dumbing down the test: 

fewer areas of math tested (no geometry? WTH?),

only easy vocabulary words

no guessing penalty.

 

I fail to see how this is "better".

The only positive I see is the no-calculator on some sections. They should make the entire thing no calculator.

 

The old essay was idiotic. I am not sure the new essay is better.

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If I were in admissions at a top college, I would wonder if the test is moving in the wrong direction, as I'd rather see the test yield greater differentiation among the top students.

 

I'd also rather see more focus on ability than on some vague "connection" to real high school that Coleman referenced someplace (i.e. achievement?).  The bright kids stuck at bad high schools need a test on which to show ability apart from whatever poor instruction they may have received.  I've seen Coleman comments that cut both ways on this and I'm not sure which way the test is actually going.

 

How can there be no geometry - that's insane.  Maybe it's in the "passport to advanced math" - I can't find anything in google yet.  Maybe we will have to wait until further details are announced in April.

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Anyone notice the lengthy time?  3 hours for the test, *plus* 50 min for the essay.  The current test is much shorter, right?  Eta, oops, nevermind - current test is 3:45 including the essay, so that's about the same?

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Paragraph analysis vs sentence completion is going to put slow readers/dyslexics at an even greater disadvantage. Will it be more like the reading passages?

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Anyone notice the lengthy time?  3 hours for the test, *plus* 50 min for the essay.  The current test is much shorter, right?  Eta, oops, nevermind - current test is 3:45 including the essay, so that's about the same?

If it's on computer, there could very well be the option of breaking up the test over multiple sessions. The California teacher credentialing exams have that option. The K-8 multiple subjects exam has 3 subsections and I can take 1, 2, or all 3 in a test session. There is a discount on the registration fee if I take all 3 at once, but that would make for a LONG day as it's 5 hours total.

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I don't know about the rest of it, but the option to take the test on a computer would greatly help my older son. His handwriting is slow and difficult to read. He can produce a good essay but not on paper. This has the possibility of allowing him to show that.

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I'm still looking, but I see no geometry, and this is from the CB:

 

Math Focused on Three Key Areas

 

The exam will focus in depth on three essential areas of math: Problem Solving and Data Analysis, the Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math. Problem Solving and Data Analysis is about being quantitatively literate. It includes using ratios, percentages, and proportional reasoning to solve problems in science, social science, and career contexts. The Heart of Algebra focuses on the mastery of linear equations and systems, which helps students develop key powers of abstraction. Passport to Advanced Math focuses on the student’s familiarity with more complex equations and the manipulation they require.

 

Current research shows that these areas most contribute to readiness for college and career training. They’re used disproportionately in a wide range of majors and careers. The SAT will sample from additional topics in math, but keep a strong focus on these three.

 

 

Anyone want to bet that geometry winds its way out of the CC standards in short order?  Isn't dropping geometry from the SAT a *huge* *huge* change?  I don't see it being discussed anywhere yet.

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I'm still looking, but I see no geometry, and this is from the CB:

 

 

Anyone want to bet that geometry winds its way out of the CC standards in short order?  Isn't dropping geometry from the SAT a *huge* *huge* change?  I don't see it being discussed anywhere yet.

 

really do not like how it sounds. i use a lot geomtry at work. it gonna be a disater 10 yrs from now... the airplane might have 2 wings with different size. missile might hit the wrong spot :eek: :eek:

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This looks to be a drastic overhaul of the test and not for the better, imo.  Does anyone know if the ACT is going to remain in its current form, or is it being revamped as well? 

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The NYT article seemed a little more specific:

Math questions will focus on three areas: linear equations; complex equations or functions; and ratios, percentages and proportional reasoning. Calculators will be permitted on only part of the math section.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/education/major-changes-in-sat-announced-by-college-board.html

 

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Although that is a pretty depressing chart you posted. 

 

i don't believe low income causes low score. . DH's father is a construction worker didn't even grad from high school. Mom is stay home Mom. DH almost got perfect score on GRE (never heard him brag about SAT but he did got full ride scholarship due to merit other than the one year he just transfered). that is why I feel this BS.

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Hmm...I wonder if students who graduate in 2017 will have the option to use scores from the current form. 

 

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If it's accurate that geometry has been removed, does anyone else think it's a little weird that the change wasn't specifically noted in the announcement or picked up by any news articles yet?

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Hmm...I wonder if students who graduate in 2017 will have the option to use scores from the current form. 

Can students take both the current SAT and the redesigned SAT and see which score is higher?

When the College Board switches over to the redesigned SAT in spring 2016, the current SAT will no longer be offered. However, some students will take the SAT before that time and then take the redesigned SAT later. Because the exam and score scale are changing, we recommend that these students send all scores, allowing colleges to use those that are most favorable to the student. Keep in mind that some colleges require students to send all scores.

 

https://www.collegeboard.org/delivering-opportunity/sat/faqs

 

 

 

They also have videos up for each subject. I can't get the math one to work for some reason but there is a transcript.

https://www.collegeboard.org/delivering-opportunity/sat/instruction/video/math

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I don't know about the rest of it, but the option to take the test on a computer would greatly help my older son. His handwriting is slow and difficult to read. He can produce a good essay but not on paper. This has the possibility of allowing him to show that.

 

I am excited about this change too. My son can produce a decent essay when he uses a computer. When he has to hand write an essay the process is slow and painful for him. I am sure he could get accommodations due to physical limits, but he would rather not have accommodations. He is quite happy about this change. 

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The test changes will certainly give some students an edge over others, but I'm not at all convinced that it will give poor kids more of an edge.

 

Students who read the Great Books and classics will not be able to show off their full vocabularies. Just READING is basically a free way to prepare. Having studied Greek and Latin won't help so much, either.

 

The math sounds fuzzy, except for the drop in calculators. Fuzzier math curricula will give students an edge over students that use more traditional methods, except if they get an edge for the drop of the calculator.

 

Is this because of a desire to compete with the ACT, which is a competitor?

 

I feel like we are not getting the whole story, and I don't think this has anything to do with benefitting poor students. I think poor students are being USED as a smokescreen.

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It looks like the new Reading section is going to be similar to the Science section on the ACT:

 

"That is really what most of college readiness and career readiness is about. One of the things that’s really exciting about the redesigned SAT is that they're pulling in materials from science and mathematics into the reading portions of the test. I mean, these days, kids need to be able to read graphs as well as paragraphs. The ability to analyze scientific information is as important as the ability to read text, to reason quantitatively, to model, and to think about how to use mathematics."

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I don't know about the rest of it, but the option to take the test on a computer would greatly help my older son. His handwriting is slow and difficult to read. He can produce a good essay but not on paper. This has the possibility of allowing him to show that.

 

I'm also very very happy about this part. DS can type much faster than he can write by hand — he writes so slowly that he often loses his train of thought before he's got a whole sentence down. I'm also wondering if it will make the MC part easier as well, because he often loses track of where he is on the bubble sheet, and skipping a line can result in every single answer being marked wrong. It's distracting and time-consuming for him to keep going back and forth from the booklet to the bubble sheet, double checking that that he's on the right line, double-checking that he's about to bubble in the right letter or number, etc. If the computer version lets you just click on the correct answer, that will eliminate a lot of random errors.

 

 

My daughter's junior NMQT year = new PSAT fall 2015 and new SAT spring 2016. Lovely.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/12/03/college-board-pushes-back-revised-sat-one-year

 

Same for my DS.  I'm thinking he should probably try to take the SAT at least once before it changes, although there's not much we can do about the NMQT/PSAT.   :sad:

 

 

As for geometry, I'm guessing that it will be one of the "additional topics" referenced in this quote, although probably with fewer problems compared to the old format?

Current research shows that these areas most contribute to readiness for college and career training. They’re used disproportionately in a wide range of majors and careers. The SAT will sample from additional topics in math, but keep a strong focus on these three.

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Is this because of a desire to compete with the ACT, which is a competitor?

 

Absolutely. I think the ACT just surpassed the SAT as the most commonly used college entrance test, and they are trying to reclaim market share. Also, many schools now use the ACT for school-wide standardized testing, so the CB wants a piece of that market as well.

 

 

I feel like we are not getting the whole story, and I don't think this has anything to do with benefitting poor students. I think poor students are being USED as a smokescreen.

 

The current SAT test is supposedly much easier to "game" than the ACT; there are a lot of "tricks" to doing well on the SAT, so intensive test prep that focuses on learning these tricks can greatly increase a student's score. The theory is that wealthier students are more likely to have access to intensive test prep, which gives them an advantage.

 

The ACT is more straightforward, and intensive test prep classes tend to have little effect in raising scores, so it's considered more equitable, since wealthier students don't have that advantage. The kids who are likely to do worse under the new format are kids with high IQs in lousy schools who might have done well with the "IQ test style" of the old SAT, but who may not have the content knowledge to do as well on the ACT & new SAT.

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If I were in admissions at a top college, I would wonder if the test is moving in the wrong direction, as I'd rather see the test yield greater differentiation among the top students.

 

I suppose that less differentiation among students would mean that there would also be less differentiation between other groups as well.  Maybe that's the goal. 

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I mean, these days, kids need to be able to read graphs as well as paragraphs. The ability to analyze scientific information is as important as the ability to read text, to reason quantitatively, to model, and to think about how to use mathematics."

 

I thought this belonged in the math section?

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They are also removing the penalty for wrong answers, so that they will be encouraging blind guessing.  I'm curious if there is any good reason for this particular change?  I always that the penalty for wrong answers made sense -- if you could narrow it down and remove some possibilities, statistically, you were better off than guessing completely randomly.

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It looks like the new Reading section is going to be similar to the Science section on the ACT:

 

"That is really what most of college readiness and career readiness is about. One of the things that’s really exciting about the redesigned SAT is that they're pulling in materials from science and mathematics into the reading portions of the test. I mean, these days, kids need to be able to read graphs as well as paragraphs. The ability to analyze scientific information is as important as the ability to read text, to reason quantitatively, to model, and to think about how to use mathematics."

 

And it would demonstrate once again that decisions made regarding education have absolutely zero logical basis.   The science reasoning portion of the test has been shown to be an inadequate predictor of college readiness whereas the English and math sections do. 

 

http://www.nber.org/papers/w17119

 

 

Colleges rely on the ACT exam in their admission decisions to increase their ability to differentiate between students likely to succeed and those that have a high risk of under-performing and dropping out. We show that two of the four sub tests of the ACT, English and Mathematics, are highly predictive of positive college outcomes while the other two subtests, Science and Reading, provide little or no additional predictive power. This result is robust across various samples, specifications, and outcome measures. We demonstrate that focusing solely on the English and Mathematics test scores greatly enhances the predictive validity of the ACT exam.

http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2011/06/21/study_suggests_most_colleges_use_act_inappropriately

 

There are schools that do not use anything other than the English and math section scores.  I suspect this is why.

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They are also removing the penalty for wrong answers, so that they will be encouraging blind guessing.  I'm curious if there is any good reason for this particular change?  I always that the penalty for wrong answers made sense -- if you could narrow it down and remove some possibilities, statistically, you were better off than guessing completely randomly.

 

 I suspect that the main reason for the change is that they are trying to match the ACT, which has no penalty for wrong answers. 

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OMG...this is going to be not nice. Right at the peak of my business, too. I have two years to either re-train or become, shoot...what? A freelance goatherd? At my hourly rate?

 

Well, if the universe is giving me a sign, perhaps I should take note.

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They are also removing the penalty for wrong answers, so that they will be encouraging blind guessing. I'm curious if there is any good reason for this particular change?

Yes, the ACT, aka the competition, does that, and is gaining market share. The CB is scared.

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Although that is a pretty depressing chart you posted.

Shoot - looks like we have only 1/3 the income we are supposed to have. I feel cheated.

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I think it is an attempt to get business back from the ACT - and one that is likely to backfire in a huge way. Would not anybody who has a student scheduled for testing when the new test is rolled out make sure the student takes the ACT instead? I know that this will be a very strong incentive for us to prioritize the ACT over the SAT for DS. I don't need him to be a guinea pig.

The only students who are stuck with the SAT are the ones who have a reasonable chance of making National Merit Scholar and must have the SAT. For anybody else, I don't see a reason to subject them to an untested test. I wonder what numbers will be like.

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OMG...this is going to be not nice. Right at the peak of my business, too. I have two years to either re-train or become, shoot...what? A freelance goatherd? At my hourly rate?

 

Well, if the universe is giving me a sign, perhaps I should take note.

 

That about describes my business plan  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:

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Can students take both the current SAT and the redesigned SAT and see which score is higher?

This is what happened to me. I took the SAT in 11th in '93 and a redesigned SAT in 12th in '94. The changes helped me on the math section (up 100 points) but hurt me on the verbal section (down 50 points).

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i don't believe low income causes low score. 

 

I don't think that most people believe that low income causes low scores. The article I read stated that "the test's scores historically have correlated with family income." Correlation is not causation, and your husband's anecdote does not discount that many analyses of income and test scores show that students from lower-income families score (as a whole, not necessarily as specific individuals) worse than students from higher-income families. I suspect that students from lower-income families have, in general, fewer opportunities to be exposed to the types of score-boosting experiences that that kids from wealthier families have access to. In fact, the article talks about how the SAT is not difficult to game due to the test-taking "tricks" that improve scores and to which higher-income students have access to in the form of prep classes. They are attempting to remove those non-intellect, non-education based ways of artificially boosting a score. I'm not sure who would object to that ...

 

... except that I am one of those hippie leftists who think the tests should be done away with entirely. I used to work for an educational development company, and one of the things I did was write standardized test questions. The whole thing is a sham, and the tests have little predictive value for college success. My dd fought and scrabbled and clawed her way to a measly 18 on the ACT after four attempts at the test and time accommodations that netted her a shocking 6 1/2 hours to complete the test. Based on this, most people would claim she was not college material, yet she is studying biology at a private liberal arts college and is on the Dean's List. 

 

The tests are bogus.

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I doubt that geometry has been dropped; they probably lumped it in one of the new categories. It was probably redesigned it in part so they can sell all new prep books/courses/etc. - big money to be made somewhere.

 

ETA: My kids preferred the ACT anyway.

 

 

 

 

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I don't think that most people believe that low income causes low scores. The article I read stated that "the test's scores historically have correlated with family income." Correlation is not causation, and your husband's anecdote does not discount that many analyses of income and test scores show that students from lower-income families score (as a whole, not necessarily as specific individuals) worse than students from higher-income families. I suspect that students from lower-income families have, in general, fewer opportunities to be exposed to the types of score-boosting experiences that that kids from wealthier families have access to. In fact, the article talks about how the SAT is not difficult to game due to the test-taking "tricks" that improve scores and to which higher-income students have access to in the form of prep classes. They are attempting to remove those non-intellect, non-education based ways of artificially boosting a score. I'm not sure who would object to that ...

 

... except that I am one of those hippie leftists who think the tests should be done away with entirely. I used to work for an educational development company, and one of the things I did was write standardized test questions. The whole thing is a sham, and the tests have little predictive value for college success. My dd fought and scrabbled and clawed her way to a measly 18 on the ACT after four attempts at the test and time accommodations that netted her a shocking 6 1/2 hours to complete the test. Based on this, most people would claim she was not college material, yet she is studying biology at a private liberal arts college and is on the Dean's List.

 

The tests are bogus.

Good post. I received a generous scholarship based on test scores alone and dropped out after one year. I was not ready.

 

Hit post too soon. ETA: good job to your dd!

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I am thankful this was not an accurate reflection of me . . . nor is it an accurate reflection of my kids.  But, it is a bit scary to think about.  

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