Thursday, June 11, 2015

Free SAT Prep

What's Kaplan to do?
The College Board gave unprecedented access to the revamped SAT it plans to introduce next spring to Khan Academy, which has developed diagnostic quizzes and interactive practice tests that will be accessible to anyone with Internet access. Khan Academy, based in Mountain View, is known for its free web-based library of instructional videos and academic exercises.
The SAT is being made easier, too:
The redesigned SAT will be graded on a 1,600-point scale last used in 2004, and will make the now-required essay section optional. Test-takers no longer will lose points for wrong answers, a feature meant to discourage guessing but that produced agonized complaints that the exam was more an exercise in strategy than a measure of college-readiness.

The questions were written with an eye toward adhering more closely to what students are learning in high school and evaluating the practical knowledge they will need for life beyond college, Coleman said. For example, $10 vocabulary words like “querulous” have been replaced with more commonly used terms such as “synthesis,” he said.
Hat tip to Joanne for the link.


maxutils said...

I'm not upset at all about the elimination of the essay part -- readers spend probably 30 seconds on them, and it's a free 800 points for anyone who can even barely write. The vocabulary is troubling, though … eliminating the harder words will do two things: it will decrease the spread in scores, making the test less useful; it will also diminish the importance of using worrd roots. "Querulous" is hardly a $10 word … but even if you don't know what it means, if you know what a query, an inquiry, or even a question is, you should be able to get the right answer.

Education Realist said...

The SAT is most assuredly not made easier, if the sample PSAT is any indication. Quite the opposite.

As for the reading and writing, the College Board ripped off the ACT.

You haven't looked at it yet?

Ellen K said...

The SAT was caught out early in the game with trying to manipulate outcomes to assure more minority success. They, along with other big name testing companies, have a vested interest in being commercially viable and that means that more kids have to pass. I doubt that standardized testing itself makes much money, but the related training and remedial material makes their bottom line hefty. The SAT has the same issue that universities have with admissions-they need some standards to eliminate those obviously not suited, but they don't dare allow those standards to give the appearance of being based on race, gender or any other demographic breakdown. We have lost all concept of rewarding the best and brightest in spite of demographic background and are now caught up in the slippery slope of adding points to some scores, deducting them from others based on what appears to be an arbitrary system of who is the most desirable minority.