Papas Fritas writes:
"Kimberly Hefling reports from AP that the SAT college entrance exam is undergoing sweeping revisions in the first major update since 2005. College Board officials say that this is needed to make the exam more representative of what students study in high school and the skills they need to succeed in college and afterward.
The test should offer "worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles," says College Board President David Coleman. Scoring will return to a 1,600-point scale last used in 2004. There will be a separate score for the optional essay and students will have the option of taking the test on computers. One of the biggest changes in the SAT is that the extra penalty for wrong answers, which discouraged guessing, will be eliminated and some vocabulary words will be replaced with words such as "synthesis" and "empirical" that are used more widely in classrooms and in work settings. Some high school and college admissions counselors say eliminating the penalty for wrong answers and making the essay optional could make the test less stressful for some students.
College Board is also partnering with Khan Academy to address one of the greatest inequities around college entrance exams, namely the culture and practice of high-priced test preparation which critics call a tool to protect the interests of the elite. "For too long, there's been a well-known imbalance between students who could afford test-prep courses and those who couldn't," says Sal Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy, "We're thrilled to collaborate closely with the College Board to level the playing field by making truly world-class test-prep materials freely available to all students."
(Score: 2, Interesting) by Hawkwind on Friday March 07 2014, @04:42PM
There are some definite moves to make the questions more accessible. An example:
Passages of writing used for various parts of the exam will be texts from significant moments in American history or science, not the somewhat random selections that now appear. Each exam will feature works such as the Declaration of Independence or a selection from the Federalist Papers, or Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from a Birmingham Jail."
I'm OK with the writing changes. Per the College Board admissions officers were split on whether the writing test was valuable, and the changes made should remove some of the silliness: Fooling the College Board [insidehighered.com].
As to the point that this is about the ACT, that's my take also. A good eight point summary and analysis can be found at http://www.insidehighered.com/news/2014/03/06/col
l ege-board-unveils-plans-new-sat-including-complet e ly-revamped-writing-test [insidehighered.com].