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posted by Cactus on Friday March 07 2014, @04:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the uphill-in-the-snow-both-ways dept.

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."

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @04:55PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 07 2014, @04:55PM (#12775)

    >The only way one can do it is to have a free public education at all levels but condition the admittance at all higher levels or particular institution by the passing of some exams or tests.

    Not necessarily - things like the "pay it forward" proposals where you pay N% of your post-college income for M years have great potential for eliminating income-based disparity, while also being far from free, and giving colleges major incentive to help their graduates find good paying jobs. Which is not necessarily 100% aligned with helping their graduates find *good* jobs, but a heck of a lot better than the current situation where you mostly cease to be relevant to them once you graduate, except to hope you'll become one of those unlikely rich alumni who can donate new administration buildings.

    Such strategies of course still "discriminate" against the academically uninterested/incompetent, but I would suggest that, media conditioning aside, college really isn't for everyone. If you don't have a mind inclined to academic achievement then you are unlikely to be happy or successful in the sort of job a traditional degree will rationally help you get. Trade schools on the other hand can cultivate what may be far more useful knowledge at a fraction of the cost, and still give you a piece of paper that says "see, I was able to show up to class regularly without any truancy officers involved".

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