TEACHING THE TEST

It was interesting… I read about SAT math scores rising (link) and then on the same day there’s an article about people as young as 13 doing SAT preparation courses (another link). Being Canadian, I’ve always found the whole SAT thing fascinating as I never had to take one. I guess it’s not really surprising that scores go up, given that people are preparing for up to 4 years before the exam. Maybe I’m just a purist: isn’t the SAT supposed to test college readiness, not one’s ability to take an exam? Maybe we should focus on improving education in general, rather than prepping earlier and earlier…

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3 Responses to “TEACHING THE TEST”

  1. eldan Says:

    the trouble is ‘college readiness’ is a very hard thing to test. I think the only way to get a good idea of something that slippery is to actually meet every candidate face to face, and put them through quite a long interview procedure.

    I’ve always hated the idea of standardised tests, because what they test is so limited, but having applied to US universities from outside the US I have learned to appreciate them because at least it means that candidates from everywhere in the world get compared on a level playing field, rather than making admissions committees come up with some formula for translating my A levels to be equivalent to a French applicant’s Baccalaureate, and so on.

  2. verna Says:

    How interesting that the SAT’s are going higher. For years they had declined so that 900’s were average. Contributing factor could include a generation of children with parents who were educated in integrated schools. Parents are better educated. The grandparents of today’s high schoolers had overall poorer educations r/t spotty public schools in the ’20’s, the depression and WW II. Separate and unequal education was not only a race reality but also a class and regional problem. Also the outlandish suggestion that crime has gone down b/c legalised abortion has decreased the class from which most criminals come could be offered as why SAT scores have gone up. The legalisation of abortion has decreased the numbers of very low scorers.

  3. rvman Says:

    SAT’s were descending for years because more and more people were taking them, as a higher percentage of the population goes to college. It got so bad that in the mid 90’s they recalibrated the scores – a pre recalibration score needs to be raised about 100 points to be comparable to a post re-calibration. Prep and the focus on “high”-stakes standardized testing in schools graduation probably explain the recent uptick. (“High” in quotes because true high-stakes testing wouldn’t be repeated umpteen times until the taker gets a passing score.)

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