1. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    SAT to drop essay requirement!

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by mammamaia, Mar 5, 2014.

    SAT to drop essay requirement as part of overhaul
    The SAT college admission test will no longer require a timed essay, will dwell less on fancy vocabulary and will return to the familiar 1600-point scoring scale in a major overhaul intended to open doors to higher education for students who are now shut out.

    Read more at:
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/sat-to-drop-essay-requirement-and-return-to-top-score-of-1600-in-redesign-of-admission-test/2014/03/05/2aa9eee4-a46a-11e3-8466-d34c451760b9_story.html

    what do you writingfolk think about this?...

    is it another way america is dumbing down our youth, making the ability to express oneself coherently in words no longer a necessity for entrance into the halls of higher education?

    or is it merely making it possible for more young people to have access to a college education?

    is writing being phased out of our society, bit by textspeak bit?
     
  2. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think they're capable of consistently and objectively grading the essay and assigning a numerical value. I think it's better to get rid of it. Individual colleges can require more extensive essays as part of the application. The SAT is supposed to be only a piece of the application.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
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  3. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And a questionable piece at that. I realize there has to be some measure, there's no getting around that, but some people don't test well though they would do quite well in university. I can tell you that I do test well. I'm the person who can cram, retain long enough to make it for the test, and then do a complete and total dump afterwards. The fact that I test well, in my case, is not really a good measure of how I would do later on the long haul.
     
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  4. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Do you think eventually they will isolate an 'intelligence' gene, and instead of having tests they will just draw blood and place everyone by that?
     
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  5. Fitzroy Zeph
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    Fitzroy Zeph Contributing Member Contributor

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    A long time ago, at a University far far away, Canadian students had to pass an English composition exam to gain credit for English 100, a requisite for all degrees. That has long since been done away with. Are the students graduating today better educated than those a few decades ago? I seriously doubt it.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    78. Is this decision:
    A. Lazy, because essays are more difficult to grade in a uniform manner.
    B. A symptom of a weak educational system, because essay scores are dragging down the total scores.
    C. Another step toward black and white thinking, because multiple choice answers are not assigned partial scores/
    D. All of the above.

    Mark your choice with a number 2 pencil, completely filling the circle but not marking the page outside the circles.
     
  7. thirdwind
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    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

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    I'm kind of glad they're getting rid of it. When only given 25 minutes to write an essay, most students will follow the formulaic approach taught in SAT classes or school. That's not a very useful way of judging students' writing skills.
     
  8. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    In high school I only took the ACT. I am in no way a good technical English writer, and never have been. My worst score on the ACT was in English. I think I got a 27 or 28 overall, despite a crap English score. I don't know how, but I got the highest score you can get on the ASVAB with a 99. I guess English isn't important for shooting a gun.
     
  9. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    Personally I would rather see them test skills and retention from the materials given and the question given. So using problem solving not what you know. Critical thinking is more important than learning the information such as X+Y = Z. Data retention, critical thinking, common sense, and Researching through the materials given is more valuable in the work place and in Universities than what we were taught in high school.
     
  10. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    So you don't think creativity and good communication skills are important in determining a person's education?
     
  11. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    "What did you give my essay a bad score?"
    "Your spelling is atrocious and you have no idea how to punctuate a sentence."
    "Huh?"
    "Look here. You ended this sentence with a semicolon and a parenthesis. That sort of punctuation can't be found in the MLB Handbook."
    "LOL, that's a winky face!"

    #

    The brass casing of the spent .45 cartridge ricocheted off the imitation marble bust of Euripides; a fine mist of blood settled over the scattered Blue Books. Like a tiny raft, the lid of the emptied Jack Daniels bottle was carried away by a viscous, crimson tide and chunks of memories.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014
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  12. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    No. I just forgot to add them. But you really can test that in standard testing format.
     
  13. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    Not trying to be rude, but how in the world could you test creativity by filling in a bubble sheet?
     
  14. AsherianCommand
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    AsherianCommand Active Member

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    See, I mean't to say can't, But this keyboard is sadly nearing the end of its life span.
     
  15. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    lol It happens.
     
  16. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    By discovering that certain low-scoring sheets are actually images formed from the filled in dots.
     
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  17. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    So you pass the creativity part, and fail the rest.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Seriously though,some highly intelligent and/or creative people score lower than they should on standardized tests because they see answers which are legitimately better than those intended by the test designers. This is particularly true with pattern recognition or analogy questions in IQ tests.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2014
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  19. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    I agree that, that was particularly true in the reading tests. They would ask questions and have answers that were so close, you could flip a coin.
     
  20. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Did anyone actually look into the reason for the changes of which the essay was only one?

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/03/05/286392637/no-more-essay-and-other-changes-coming-to-the-sat
    The changes are not aimed at dumbing down the test, they are aimed at leveling the economic playing field.

    And that was based on research not just some campaign brought by the disaffected. Apparently the test was becoming irrelevant as a growing percentage of colleges are no longer requiring SAT scores in their admission process.

    Here's the official announcement:
    https://www.collegeboard.org/releases/2014/expand-opportunity-redesign-sat
    Considering it costs $250 or more for every application a student sends to a different college, that is a big deal.


    I say good for The College Board, using research to objectively assess the test and the process then acting on the findings.
     
  21. chicagoliz
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    chicagoliz Contributing Member Contributor

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    Eeh, I'm a cynic. The College Board is concerned about profits and it's own lifespan. I'm all for a partnership with Khan Academy and the CB giving waivers for application fees. But their motives are not altruistic.

    I do think standardized tests do have a role, albeit a small one. Purely anecdotally, I've noticed that people who do extremely well on them do have a certain level of some kinds of intelligence. I've never met anyone who did extremely well who I thought was stupid (although I have met some who are lazy). But, I've also met people who are very intelligent but don't do well on standardized tests, and therefore on the SAT. So, I think that while it can be evidence of someone's "smarts," and can play a role in admissions, I do not believe it should play a major role or be in any way definitive, since it is clearly NOT evidence of someone's lack of "smarts."
     
  22. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You don't believe they are non-profit?
     
  23. Andrae Smith
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    Andrae Smith Gone exploring... in the inner realm... Contributor

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    Hmmm... Never saw this coming. Personally, I don't know what I think, exactly. Not that I particularly like standardized testing, if we are going to use them, we should make sure they can best represent individual students's ability.

    I do think that changing the vocabulary is a good step, as is removing some of the "tricks." I don't think tests should be designed to trick students, just to evaluate what they know. By reformatting, they may achieve higher success rates and create more opportunity for some people who probably would succeed in college. Not everyone tests that well. I also like that they are trying to counter the "last minute cram"mentality that makes the exam seem so loaded with trivial material and yet still so intimidating. There should be more to the exam than testing students on scarcely used vocabulary and and math functions that mean nothing to them.

    Still, I don't really like the idea of removing the essay portion entirely.

    Essays, even short ones are an effective method for evaluating students's ability to think quickly, critically, and comprehensively. They are a major component in college education--well writing is--and students need to learn the value of writing beforehand. By removing this portion of the test, in our test-driven educational system, you essentially signal to high school students that composition is less important. Never mind the fact that strong writing is among the most sought-after skill in employees (that is, every company needs people who can do the math, but every company thrives on people being able to communicate in a clear and organized fashion).

    Further, making the test easier will reduce its value as a indicator of potential college success. If you want students to do better, find a way to teach better. Utilizing essays would provide the perfect opportunity to make the exam less trivial because it would give them a chance to express their thought process, which is why college have essay requirements to begin with.

    If students are struggling because they can't write, maybe more emphasis should be put into English and writing classes.

    Just my two-cents. I'd love to here some other thoughts on this, though. I mean I could be wrong. I'm just concerned that students might be getting more short-changed by an "easier" exam.
     
  24. Lewdog
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    Lewdog Come ova here and give me kisses! Supporter Contributor

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    It cost $250 now just to apply to a college? It was like $25 when I was in high school. 1,000% inflation in 20 years?
     
  25. Duchess-Yukine-Suoh
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    Duchess-Yukine-Suoh Girl #21 Contributor

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    I am not surprised.
     

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