(Deseret News) The reviews are in for the new SAT — and they’re mixed



My article “The reviews are in for the new SAT — and they’re mixed” appears in Deseret News. Here’s the lede:

When she took the SAT in March, Karissa Cloutier, a high school junior in New Hampshire, was one of the first students to take the newest iteration of the test, originally the Scholastic Aptitude Test, which has been administered since 1926. It went pretty well, she says, although she would have hoped for more time on the reading sections.

“Everything in general felt rushed due to having strict start and end times,” Cloutier, 17, says. And when asked what she would change about the SAT if given the chance, she says, “I would add more time to the reading parts. It took too much time to read the passage only to have to reread it to answer the questions.”

College Board, which administers the SAT, reconfigured the test’s content and scoring to better reflect what students are actually learning and are likelier to use later in life.

“The redesigned SAT focuses on the comparatively few things that evidence shows matter most for college and career readiness and success, and therefore better reflects what students are learning in class,” according to a College Board statement. “This means the questions on the redesigned SAT will be more familiar to students.”

Those changes affect a large number of college hopefuls. In 2015, 59 percent of the graduating class, or more than 1.92 million students, took the rival American College Test (ACT), while less than 1.7 million students took the SAT, Education Week reported.

However much College Board touts its revised test, not everyone agrees that the changes are an improvement. Among test takers and the tutors who help high school students prepare for the SAT test, the newest iteration of the test has both proponents and detractors. And as students start to get their scores, and colleges begin to collect data on how effective the changes are, the conversation is likely to continue.

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