SAT adjustments

Posted on

While the SAT has been an integral part of the college application process for decades, recently school administrators in both high schools and college have adjusted in order to deal with rising pressures to “teach to the test” by adjusting curriculums and how strongly colleges weigh the SAT as a part of their admissions process.  While once one of the strongest deciding factors that schools have used to determine if a student had a spot at their program, schools have now lessened the weight they carry as a part of the admissions process and high schools have adjusted.  Over three hundred colleges and universities no longer require students to submit standardized test scores as a part of the admissions process including schools like American University, Hamilton College, numerous state schools, and a majority of NESCAC schools including Trinity College.   The value of the SAT has been compromised by the advantages of richer students whose families can afford for them to spend thousands of dollars on classes outside of school that specifically teach them how to do well on the SAT, and colleges have began looking more at a student’s GPA, extracurricular activities, and personal essays.  While most colleges still hold the SAT in high regard, some high schools have began adjusting their methods so as to not stress out students as they prepare for the SAT.  When I spoke with Stephen Wallace he said he found that most students are stressed out by the SAT, and while this is not a new pattern by any means, he believes that teaching directly to the test does not necessarily guarantee higher test scores.  What students need is the ability to diversify their education in order to maintain an interest in school and remain motivated.

In 2005, the SAT made a major modification to the test that changed what students had to learn and allowed teachers to instruct more traditional English lessons and away from an entirely test oriented environment.  The addition of the writing section forced students to learn how to properly write a major essay instead of being able to identify a grammatically correct statement or a vocabulary word.

Gewertz, Catherine. “SAT Scores: A Gauge of College Readiness?” 14 Sept. 2011. Web. 1 Apr. 2012.

Robelen, Erik. “Budget Pact Deals Blow to Literacy, History Programs.” 13 Apr. 2011. Web.

Wallace, Stephen Gray: Former CEO of Students Against Destructive Decisions.  Author The Reality Gap.

2 thoughts on “SAT adjustments”

  1. I think that your draft essay so far is really good but I am unsure of where you are going with your paper. Are you talking about how the SAT has changed from the start of the SAT to now? Or are you talking about the problems with the SATs? I think your thesis could be much clearer and that you should present a concise argument. I definitely think your information about the SATs are relevant and important. I like how you describe the SATs and how schools are finding the SATs less important for admissions. You definitely need to make your research question more clear in your paper and your thesis more clear. With doing that, I think your paper will be much stronger.

  2. Charlie,

    I think this is a great research topic idea because it is true that the value placed on SATs on college applications has shifted. You do need to make it a little bit more clear and specifically define your research question. Also, you did not make any real references to sources in this draft essay but I am assuming you will do that in the future, which could be really helpful in answering your research question. I am sure there are good sources available that you can use to obtain information about the SATs and whether or not teachers have been adjusting the curriculum of school. Good job!

Comments are closed.