There are about three things I remember about high school; finals, applying for college and taking the SAT.
The SAT was this scary entity for a lot of students, including myself. Like your grades, it was a deciding factor on how eligible you were for certain colleges. It was difficult in its own right: It would take hours upon hours to study for, and there was always the possibility you still wouldn’t get the score you had hoped for. Then you would have to take it again toimprove.
But that will change in coming months.
College Board has created a new SAT test. It has eliminated the guessing penalty, made the essay optional and revamped the tests scoring system. Instead of the math, English and writing sections being worth 800 points each, students will receive a score of 400-1600 for math and a combined English and writing section.
The English and writing section will also include information from other subjects, such as history and science. If the essay is taken, it will be graded on three different categories with a score of 2 to 8 given in each individual category.
Typically, college isn’t easy and it’s not supposed to be. College is supposed to prepare you to work in your desired field once you graduate. That means you need to know how to think and write critically. With this new version of the SAT, College Board is doing future college students a major disservice.
The newest version is supposed to have eliminated the unusual language used and focus on what students should know to be ready for college.
College Board President David Coleman announced the changes in 2014 and stated the SAT and the ACT have “become disconnected from the work of our high schools” and he hopes it will “level the playing field” for students.
A nice sentiment, but will it actually be beneficial to students?
The newest version of the SAT first test will be taken on March 5. Normally, students receive their scores in about three weeks after their test date, but now they won’t receive them until mid-May. For juniors who have yet to apply for college yet, they have to wait. However, it won’t affect them right away as theystill have time to retake it. But for seniors, the last possible time they can take the SAT is in March because most colleges need final transcripts and SAT scores by June 1.
Students are already under a lot pressure with finals and AP tests, and releasing scores so late will only add to their stress levels. The test dates after March 5 will have a shortened time in between the test date, but it doesn’t seem worth it to risk it, and it’s more effective to buckle down and take the ACT.
According to the National Center for Education Statistic, the average national SAT score is 1498 since 1986. There will be no indicators as to whether the new SAT is more effective than the old version until multiple test results are released, meaning students will have to muddle through this new version if it turns out to be ineffective.
It seems as if College Board’s goal is to make their tests easier, as it’s hard to imagine that the ACT won’t change in the next few years. Why would making a test easier make students ready for college?