New SAT Format Sets Realistic Goals

By Xiomara Heron ’16

Along with April showers and May flowers, spring of 2016 will also bring a new SAT format.  The College Board will be making changes to the current SAT in order to ensure the students are college ready.

According to  “Less than half of the students who take the SAT are college ready… Our goal is to support college readiness and success for more students …”

I believe that this change is essential to the consummation of our education and our level of preparedness for college.

“In SAT prep we learn tricks on how to beat the test,” said Ashahyah Lettman ’16. “We are told not to answer every question in order to achieve a higher score.”

In order to remedy the need for preparedness for college and having students actually learn the topics on the test, the new SAT will force students to apply a deeper understanding of skills most important for college and career readiness. Students will also be asked to support their answers with evidence.

“Some of the questions and vocabulary in the SAT are too hard,” said Quetorah Dalencourt ’16. “some of them I won’t even remember after the test.”

To avoid this the College Board will include vocabulary that students will use long after the exam is taken. Also the College Board stated “The questions will be more familiar to students because they’ll be modeled on the work of the best classroom teachers.”

In certain standardized test such as the SAT, students might be unprepared because there is a lot that they are responsible for knowing, but they dont know what the test holds in store for them. Previous tests required student to have a huge file cabinet of rules, facts, and abilities lodged in their brains in order to score a 2400.

Thankfully, the College Board will be “…taking the mystery out of the exam and providing a full SAT blueprint before the first administration in spring 2016. Free test preparation is also on the way.” according to the website.

According to Behind the SAT: The Good and Bad of the 2016 Redesign from College Board President David Coleman  said, “changes were the result of an attempt to level the playing field for students and better align the test with what students actually learn. He said both the SAT and the ACT have become “far too disconnected” from American schools.”

The test won’t lower standards for students, instead it will help make the standards more realistic.  The bar is set too high for students trying to achieve a 2400 on the exam. According “Michigan Teen Gets Perfect Scores On SAT, PSAT, ACT Tests” (April 27, 2009): The College Board has reported that roughly 1 in every 5,000 students taking the SAT gets a perfect score.

Another reason some people might disagree with the test is the new test requires entirely new materials, practice tests, books and courses.  This is not important because college board said “…we’ll continue to provide full-length practice exams and other materials to help students familiarize themselves with the exam.”

The revisions to the way the test is handled and scored will make it a more realistic goal for all children to achieve a perfect score on the SAT. It will also help assuage the stress children are subjected to under these big tests.

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