In a multi-part series, Reuters looks inside the business of standardized testing and college admissions. The parts so far: [more inside]
The College Board announced today that the SAT will be undergoing major changes. The announced changes include the removal of the penalty for incorrect guesses, the essay section becoming optional, and a revision of the vocabulary section. [more inside]
Colin Fahey goes to great lengths to get the lowest possible score on the SAT. Includes a facsimile of his persuasive essay arguing that he should receive a score of zero.
Sociologist Lauren Rivera of Northwestern spent two years researching the way elite financial and law firms really select their new hires. The original paper is behind a sciencedirect paywall, but Bryan Caplan has a nice write-up about the results. You're much better off with a degree from a tippy-top school than just any Ivy -- but they don't actually care about what you learned there. Your grades don't matter that much as long as they're not bad. Climbing a famous mountain or making a varsity team, especially if you're nationally competitive, would be wise. And oh yeah -- they do care what you got on your SATs. More reax from the Chronicle of Higher Ed and physicist Steve Hsu.
Some colleges have decided to take SAT scores out of the admissions decision making process. But, some are alleging that this is only a way to game the rankings by excluding the scores of admitted students who didn't do well.
Books That Make You Dumb - Ever read a book (required or otherwise) and upon finishing it thought to yourself, "Wow. That was terrible. I totally feel dumber after reading that."?
This month the first batch of students will take the newly revised SAT. While the test has been modified before, an entirely new writing section will be added, and the top score will now be 2400. While parents panic, the $960 million test-prep industry is poised to teach the test that was once considered uncoachable. Not every school will be using the new writing section, but some big ones (pdf) were behind the push for its adoption. What’s a student to do?
On 2003 April 5th, a Saturday, at the age of 33, I threw away my dignity, mocked my Ivy League education, disgraced my Master's degree, and proved, in just over three hours, that humans can do things "The System" didn't anticipate. Rather than fight the test, I use the SAT's difficulty to my advantage, leveraging down to a new, elite level of distinction. Verbal: 200. Math: 200.
Does being valedictorian still matter? A New Jersey high school student with top grades and a 1570 SAT score is suing her school (including a $2.5 million punitive damages demand) for deciding to make her one of three "co-valedictorians." Considering that valedictorian is an award given well after college acceptance letters are sent out, is the title actually relevant in the American education system? Has anyone here actually gained something (other than pride) via the highest GPA in their class?
Dumbing Down The SAT I was reading this article and several recent news stories came to mind (sorry, can't find links). One was regarding the resistance of teacher's unions to adopt teaching techniques that have proven successful in private schools (phonics would be an example) and the other was a radio news story about a teacher's union defending three schools that had failed to meet state requirements as to quality of education being provided. So, my question is, are teacher's unions interested in educating children or simply fighting to lower the standards?
The University of California may eliminate SATs scores as a criterion for admission of undergraduates.