R. I. P. Old SAT

RIP Old SAT Tomorrow, January 23, we say goodbye to the old SAT as it is given for the last time. I will miss:

  • Math that emphasizes creative problem solving over long computation
  • The overt (and easily coach-able) emphasis on college-bound vocabulary
  • Short sections that never ask students to focus for more than 25 minutes on a given subject
  • Broad essay topics which allow multiple interpretations supported by any type of evidence
Going forward with the new SAT I think students will appreciate
  • The scoring system which no longer penalizes for wrong answers
  • A multiple-choice writing section based 100% on editing passages (like the ACT). Students won’t miss the Error ID sentences.
  • Changes to the written essay that move it to the end of the exam, remove it from the overall SAT score, and make it optional (like the ACT). Essay scores will now be “extra” and will not be factored into a student’s Evidence Based Reading & Writing score (again, like the ACT.)
The new SAT looks more like the ACT than its outgoing counterpart. Having two competing exams that share an increasing number of similarities is not good for students, many of whom benefited from having a real choice in admissions tests. As the new format SAT moves from prototype to full implementation phase this spring, we will see how many students prefer it to the ACT and life will be simpler with two known choices and less speculation. I guess it is time to recycle my old SAT books. I’ve had the new format book since it was released by College Board last summer, but it doesn’t have the same familiar dog-eared pages and worn cover held on by layers of packing tape.  ]]>

New SAT, Old SAT, SAT

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