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Revising The SAT

College Board President David Coleman announced updates for the SAT college entrance exam in Austin, Texas. (AP/Eric Gay)

College Board President David Coleman announced updates for the SAT college entrance exam in Austin, Texas. (AP/Eric Gay)

By now you’ve probably heard the big news in education. The SAT is undergoing sweeping changes. The new test debuts Spring 2016. The score will revert back to the old 1600 scale. The essay portion? No longer mandatory. Dreaded so-called “SAT vocabulary words” like “pellucid” and “legerdemain”? They’re out as well, to be replaced by words more common in college courses like “empirical” and “synthesis”. The math section will zero in on linear equations, functions, and proportional reasoning.

It’s the biggest SAT overhaul in a decade. David Coleman, president of the College Board which administers the test, says the new SAT is designed to “reconnect” the test with what students are actually learning in high school. It’s also taking aim at one of the most powerful criticisms of the SAT: that wealthier students do much better because their families can buy the expensive prep courses that significantly boost test scores.

Guests

Les Perelman, research associate at MIT and former director of MIT’s Writing Across the Curriculum.

Paul Reville Francis Keppel Professor of Practice of Educational Policy and Administration at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education and former Massachusetts education secretary.

Seppy Basili, vice president of College Admissions and K-12 Programs at Kaplan Test Prep.

More

New York Times “The question for (College Board president David) Coleman was how to create an exam that served as an accurate measure of student achievement and college preparedness and that moved in the direction of the meritocratic goals it was originally intended to accomplish, rather than thwarting them.”

NPR “For both those students who submitted their test results to their colleges and those who did not, high school grades were the best predictor of a student’s success in college. And kids who had low or modest test scores, but good high school grades, did better in college than those with good scores but modest grades.


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