The News of Communications High School

the Inkblot

Changed SAT will better predict students’ college chances


High school students face a number of challenges in the college application process. From innumerable essays and resume edits to visiting schools, the hoops that the average high school student has to go through for college can seem endless. One such hoop is the standardized test.

Students prepare for months leading up to the SAT, paying for tutors and College Board books to ensure that they are as equipped as possible to take the test. Our school offers Saturday morning “boot camps” and other resources to prepare for testing. Why? High school curricula, we are told, will not suffice as preparation. Even in an all-honors curriculum, our work as students is not enough. They can then sacrifice their education for readying for the SAT, or vice versa.

The new SAT, announced in early March, will close the gap between test prep and standard education. The essay portion will now be optional, leaving a 1600-point scale for critical reading and math. Reading response selections will now require students to use evidence from the text.  Vocabulary will reportedly be changed to match language that would commonly be used in university courses.

If the goal of the SAT is to gauge a student’s college preparedness, these changes will certainly be for the better. College students will be required to participate in discussion and read actively, both of which are skills that  the new SAT will likely test. Even better, students will be able to focus more on learning as much as possible in their English and math courses, rather than rushing through homework to flip through flashcards.

Some pundits, such as Rich Lowry of the National Review, have accused the College Board of “dumbing down” the SAT. They claim that the new test will discourage students from putting their best efforts into the exam. However, if students are less encumbered by the responsibility to prep for the exam, they will have more time to devote to their actual education.

The new SAT will not see the light of day for another two years, so it’s not yet known how the redesigned test will compare. However, we at The Inkblot feel that these changes will better reflect the Class of 2017’s college readiness.

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The News of Communications High School
Changed SAT will better predict students’ college chances