Recent information about major changes to the SAT hit just as I was boarding a plane home from a business trip. I took advantage of my amount of time in the air to read up on the mass media reaction to this announcement. My best take, despite what is asserted within the New York Occasions , is that these changes help the test prep industry develop in on how best to help learners do well on the SAT , that will in turn help test prep become even more reliable in terms of results.
For example , since the reading passages now can be more accurately predicted, tutors can prep kids specifically for those pieces. If the College Board is limiting the number of language words, tutors may direct students to study a few hundred rather than a few thousand. If they are focusing the math section by narrowing the amount of topics covered, that also helps the tutors concentrate their initiatives.
Parents are never going to easily give up the dream that will prep can help their kids, and a more specific and limited test may imply that test prep itself might actually get better and require less time and money. Companies like Revolution Preparation and Advantage Testing, with in-house curriculum specialists who study the test and know it inside and out, will be at a real advantage. An organization that does no training plus relies instead on their tutors to simply know the test will have to ask all those individuals to get up to speed on their own, a definite disadvantage.
The particular Times article also notes that Kahn Academy, a free online resource available to all, worked directly with the College Board to develop their prep materials and will have sample questions available on their website. This certainly helps the test prep industry, because the site essentially gives all companies the CliffsNotes on what their new programs ought to look like. It also allows kids who couldn’t afford test prep to gain access to some high quality—and likely very clear and focused—test prep for free. If Kahn Academy adds used questions, as they have for some other topics on their site, it could be extremely for a bright and motivated pupil who does not need someone to guide all of them through the process.
Eventually that may help to level the playing field a little. My prediction: we will start to see even higher ratings on the SAT across the board, much like what happened when the College Board “re-centered” scores back in the mid-90s. This is a result that high schools, colleges, parents and students will all like.
A far bigger ancillary benefit to these changes, and something I think the College Board is wishing for, is a shift in perception from your idea that the ACT is less complicated than the SAT, to the sense they are equivalent—or even that the SAT could be the easier test. This helps the SAT regain the market share they’ve lost over time. The College Board’s hope for this outcome is strengthened if the test prep industry figures out a better way to assist students prepare for, and perform well upon, the SAT.
Karen Crowley is the General Supervisor of College Coach. Karen has quarter of a century of college admissions and educational consulting experience. Prior to joining College Trainer, Karen served as a senior admissions officer at both the University associated with Pennsylvania and Boston University before becoming the Associate Director of school Counseling then the Assistant High School Director at The Dalton School in Manhattan.