Here they come. Changes to the SAT.
A New SAT Aims to Realign With Schoolwork
The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul
College President: SAT Is Part Hoax, Part Fraud
Once upon a time, College Board (the folks who stick a No. 2 pencil in one hand, and pick your pockets with the other) owned the field. Now, with market share down around 50%, they're looking to get back in the game.
Yes, it was all fun and games until the folks at College Board, The Once Great and Powerful, realized they weren't making quite as much money as they used to, thanks to the ACT, and to the more than 800 colleges and universities that are now "test optional."
And so, the SAT slowly morphs once more. Scholastic ACHIEVEMENT Test --> Scholastic APTITUDE Test --> Screw the ACT Test! [Okay. So they failed dismally to create a test that demonstrates either achievement or aptitude. Maybe College Board will have better luck in toppling the ACT. What is it they say about the third time being a charmer?]
All right. A few of the changes -- long overdue, mind you -- are welcome. The elimination of vocabulary words, for instance, that went out of vogue with the Dark Ages. No more deduction in your score for guessing incorrectly. [As the SAT presently scores, should you leave every question unanswered, you would achieve a score of 400. Not bad for never having lifted that No. 2 pencil!]
Other changes, such as making the essay section optional, are not as favorable, and show how little emphasis the brain trust at College Board places upon original thought and creativity, as opposed to filling in little ovals based in great part on that which students have not learned. Sure, marginalize the one section of the test that may truly demonstrate potential.
Then again, the creators of the SAT -- who, in the words of the President of Bard College, Leon Botstein, are little more than perpetrators of "fraud" and "hoax" (he is being too kind) -- really don't want students to actually think and reason.
After all, if they think, they may question. If they question, they may reach the conclusion arrived at by most thinking, reasoning people in this country -- that the SAT, and similar standardized tests across the spectrum, are little more than smokescreens devised by the likes of College Board and their minions. "Pay no attention to the money coming out of your pockets and going in to ours..."
If the SATs, as currently constituted, are "filled with unproductive anxiety," and "have become disconnected from the work of our high schools," as College Board President (and, not coincidentally, Common Core Architect) David Coleman unwittingly concedes, shouldn't the test be suspended until the new exam comes into play in 2016?
Are colleges now obliged to disregard SAT scores in their entirety when considering admission, given that College Board itself has labeled the test a failure?
How about a refund for anyone who paid for the SAT since College Board first announced this latest revival of an alleged -- and more than highly suspect -- "measure" of academic promise?
P.T. Barnum would have loved the SAT, for the suckers who believed (or make believe) that this test is a measure of anything other than how students perform on the test. Then, too, Jerry Seinfeld could have created a TV series based on the SAT -- a test about absolutely nothing!
Oh, they'll try to show you their human, compassionate side at College Board. Partnering with Khan Academy, for instance, and offering freebies to select populations. [And guess who's going to pay for that?]
Too bad those old analogies -- the mainstay of the SAT of yesteryear -- are not making a comeback. You know. Avarice is to College Board as....
Don't let College Board, or, for that matter, anyone in the Collegiate Industrial Complex, fool you. It's all about the money!
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If there is a silver lining in the advent of a "new" SAT, it may just come as an ancillary cloudburst -- the doom of the multi-billion dollar test prep industry. Will this be the end of the line for the likes of Princeton Review and Kaplan (whose university by the same name does NOT require the SAT. Hmmm.)? Don't count on it. Those whose expertise is founded upon magic tricks and chicanery rather than substance and time management are too wily to succumb to the foibles of the test. The schemers and snake oil salesmen who make the prospect of a perfect score their paycheck, will find a way into your wallets. Greed, as we know, conquers all!
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