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The New SAT

| 9 Comments

Starting in March, the SAT, taken by more than 1.4 million college-bound students, will undergo major changes. The exam will now include a writing section comprising a 25-minute essay question and questions that will require students to identify sentence errors and improve sentences and paragraphs. In addition, it will contain more advanced math.

While some believe the new test will improve the quality of teaching in schools, others argue that it will strongly favor students who can afford test-preparation courses and will hurt students who speak English as a second language.

What's your view? How will the new SAT affect students and teachers? What impact will it have on high school curricula?

9 Comments

I am glad writing skills are being emphasized. Statistics show that students who take prep courses increase their advantage by only a few points, therefore affording very little advantage. The best way to prep for the SAT is to practice the test and read a lot!

Why is it acceptable to spend time, effort, and money on cramming/preping for a "high stakes" test like the SAT, but not for accountability measure tests?

I cannot precisely predict the effect the new SAT will have on students' scores. I can tell you that it has caused tremendous apprehension among students.

The real question is, "What can we as teachers do to help our students?" My answer is simple. Later this month, I will be giving a free all-day SAT preparation class, open to all who wish to attend. We can't pretend to make a difference by complaining. Get involved. That is the heart of teaching.

I think it is important to target more on our the writing section. I have seem plenty of bright students whose writing skills were in the tubes. We need to find out how we could address this situation for our students and come up with solutions so our children do not look illiterate from a writing standpoint---even if it means having special classes.

I am all for scholastic improvements as long as everyone is involved in the process of learning and teaching. Educators ought to be more involved in mentoring learners to become better test-takers, especially with the SAT for foreign language and ESL students.

I feel that attempting to incorporate writing, at least in part a subjective area, will blur the meaning of the composite score even more than the "re-centering" of a few years ago. A 25 minute sample is so superficial and high-stakes as to be ludicrous. Even my 3rd graders are accustomed to 75 minute writing assessments. There are existing writing achievement tests and I would prefer that colleges simply require these more comprehensive tests if they desire more in-depth knowledge of applicants' writing skills.

As long as we focus on taking a particular test, we fail our jobs...to help teach students how to think.

A potential issue regarding the writing portion of the test is traditional writing skills vs. "e-writting" skills. Students are becoming accustomed to using spell check and other word processing features to enhance their writing. How valid will the test be if the students are not allowed to use any of these resources?

Remember?? ------ the "great" general Ike was reported to have expressed dismay that half of America"s kids were below average. What can we expect from the Texas draft dodger now in the White House? ---and his ilk. Brags about being a Yale "C" ("C" as in complimenary) student --a trophy student --never attended pulic school in his life---booze and religion --what a combo!
Interesting--his buddy "Ken" is still loose.

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  • J. A. Vanderpool: Remember?? ------ the "great" general Ike was reported to have read more
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  • Robin Rozario, 11th & 12 Grades: As long as we focus on taking a particular test, read more
  • Kenton Loyd, 3rd Grade Teacher: I feel that attempting to incorporate writing, at least in read more
  • Hiram Betancourt: I am all for scholastic improvements as long as everyone read more

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