A modest increase in the number of students taking the SAT is fueled largely by state or district programs that offer, or require, the college-entrance exam. Outside those programs, numbers have dropped sharply.
"Every 10 years, the College Board makes significant changes to the test that has been around since 1926, the test that has been notorious for putting stress on students for generations. " Bev Taylor, who runs The Ivy Coach , has a theory about what really motivates these changes.
I enjoy beating tests, but I also think the United States would be better off with a completely different set of college admissions requirements that don't unduly privilege personalities like mine. (After all, no one is more annoying than adults who ...
"This past Saturday, several hundred thousand prospective college students filed into schools across the United States and more than 170 other countries to take the SAT—$51 registration fees paid, No. 2 pencils sharpened, acceptable calculators at the ready. And as part of the three-hour-and-45–minute ritual, each person taking the 87-year-old test spent 25 minutes drafting a prompt-based essay for the exam’s writing section.
This essay, which was added to the SAT in 2005, counts for approximately 30 percent of a test-taker’s score on the writing section, or nearly one-ninth of one’s total score. That may not seem like much, but with competition for spots at top colleges and universities more fierce than ever, performance on a portion of the test worth around 11 percent of the total could be the difference between Stanford and the second tier. So it’s not surprising that students seek strategies and tips that will help them succeed on the writing exercise. Les Perelman, the recently retired former director of MIT’s Writing Across the Curriculum program, has got a doozy.
To do well on the essay, he says, the best approach is to just make stuff up."
“Students who are aware that the section isn’t scored–in other words, students who’ve received good test advice or preparation (and who will therefore almost certainly be disproportionately from wealthier families)–will have an advantage over students who don’t realize that these sections have no impact on their scores."
Moving to a college-entrance exam such as the SAT or ACT, which are designed to predict the likelihood of students' success in college, would mean that states had chosen instead to measure college readiness.
At the age of forty-six, Debbie Stier, the author of “The Perfect Score Project: Uncovering the Secrets of the SAT,” decided to devote herself full time to the test, with the goal of achieving the maximum possible score of 2400.
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