Thursday, March 6, 2014

New SAT 1 Unveiled

I was at the Harvard Summer Institute last June when College Board President, David Coleman, gave us - college deans and counselors - a sneak preview of the radical changes coming to the SAT 1.

Two sections only again.

Scored on the traditional 1600 scale.

An optional essay.  What....optional?

"Real world" vocabulary words.

So fewer words like parsimonious and inchoate.

And more words like synthesis and adaptability.

21st century words, in other words.

Data driven math.

Evidence-based literary analysis.

Less archaic and more relevant literature.

Like MLK's Letter from a Birmingham Jail.

And the Declaration of Independence.

And health care equivalent of free, universal test prep through Khan Academy!

This is a step in good direction....IF colleges and universities are going to continue to use standardized test scores to conquer and divide...excuse me, I mean bolster their ranking status...I mean evaluate the applicant's ability to succeed in their freshman year. 

Nevertheless, I'm not sure if a overhauled test will change the fact that only 42% (according to the College Board) of the US test taking population scored high enough to qualify as "college ready."

That said, I don't foresee the new SAT 1 having a significant impact on the Casady community.

We have steadily seen 15% of our seniors submit SAT I scores to colleges.

85% still prefer and score highest on the ACT.

But it will certainly change the game for our kids in terms of the PSAT...and National Merit.

Here is a link to an excellent article explaining the new SAT 1 that will be fully functional in the spring of 2016.