By Deborah Williams
About eight years ago, the College Board unveiled a new version of the most popular college entrance exam, the SAT. This new version was longer, changed some of the question formats, and included, for the first time, an essay-writing component. A recent post, “SAT Exam to Be Redesigned,” on The Washington Post’s Answer Sheet Blog reflects on the Board’s recent announcement that it will redesign the SAT.
The posts outlines three general aims put forth by College Board Vice President Peter Kauffmann that the Board seeks to accomplish with its revamping of the current version of the test will make it more valuable to the following groups:
- To students as a fair and reliable predictor of college and career readiness
- To higher education officials by providing reliable predictions of the test-takers who are most likely to be successful in college
- To k-12 educators with better alignment of the test to college and career readiness by ensuring that the test “reflects excellence in classroom instruction” and as another bit of data to help improve instruction
The decision to revamp the test after only eight years is raising eyebrows. It might be in response to last year’s outcome: The SAT is no longer the most popular college entrance exam; the ACT now is the most popular. Others say that the 2006 version of the test was a failure. Part of the reason for that failure includes the essay portion and the vocabulary. Additionally, they argue, one cannot ignore the fact that almost 100 institutions have made the test optional or have implemented flexible policies regarding the test.