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SAT changes

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  • SAT changes

    It was announced a few days ago that some changes would come to the SATs:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/06/ed...d.html?hp&_r=0

    Instead of arcane “SAT words” (“depreciatory,” “membranous”), the vocabulary definitions on the new exam will be those of words commonly used in college courses, such as “synthesis” and “empirical.”
    I know a great deal of brainless sheep with good vocabularies and elaborate, intelligent sounding grunts. By sheer coincidence, I'm sure, nearly all of them are liberals.

    The essay, required since 2005, will become optional. Those who choose to write an essay will be asked to read a passage and analyze the ways its author used evidence, reasoning and stylistic elements to build an argument.
    I loathe essays. Hopefully the essay is rendered non-mandatory because the type of classes that require it are being cut from the mandatory curriculum and the associated professors are laid off.

    Every exam will include, in the reading and writing section, source documents from a broad range of disciplines, including science and social studies, and on some questions, students will be asked to select the quotation from the text that supports the answer they have chosen.
    Whoops, I guess I spoke too soon.

    The guessing penalty, in which points are deducted for incorrect answers, will be eliminated.
    Presumably this is done to allow the failures to guess a few questions right and inflate the scores, thus bridging the gap between them and the kids who don't need to guess. The change is pointless of course, probably engineered to feed Team Nurture. In practice all it will end up doing is raise requirements slightly. One thing it would do is benefit lazy geniuses like me who can make educated guesses without actually knowing the answers and improve our odds. So someone like me has a slightly improved chance of stealing a spot from someone who actually studied properly, then ends up flunking because laziness becomes a higher obstacle the harder the course material gets.

    Every exam will include a reading passage either from one of the nation’s “founding documents,” such as the Declaration of Independence or the Bill of Rights, or from one of the important discussions of such texts, such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s “Letter From Birmingham Jail.”
    None of the texts listed are important, except perhaps as cautionary tales.
    "As for my people, children are their oppressors, and women rule over them. O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." Isaiah 3:12

    There is no such thing as innocence, only degrees of guilt.

  • #2
    What would you consider a good way to do standardised testing for college admissions? Or do you think there shouldn't be any?

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    • #3
      Just took a PACT just yesterday,I've taken 5 so far but I haven't seen the PSAT since freshmen year.
      "Kahahaha! Let's get lunatic!"-Add LP
      "And the Devil did grin, for his darling sin is pride that apes humility"-Samuel Taylor Coleridge
      Oh ye of little fiber. Do you not know what I've done for you? You will obey. ~Cerealman for Prez.

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      • #4
        Let's not forget who else it benefits-the Tiger Children of Test Prep:

        sat-act race.jpg

        Originally posted by Steve Sailer
        The main change in SAT results since scores were boosted by recentering in 1995 is that Asian average scores have been exploding (the upward sloping yellow line above). This has generated a lot of resentment of Tiger Mothers among upper middle class white moms, but these feelings have to be recoded into an attack on white male affluent privilege.
        Natively intelligent white movers and shakers like me and Darth can score fairly high with a minimum of studying (I recall getting 1340 on my first SAT sophomore year, way before the essay section was implemented) but those whose parents get them the latest and greatest test prep kits will always have an edge in performance, though not always in creativity.

        Lest you think I'm piling on Asians, they have fairly good reasons for this monomaniacal focus on test scores:

        Namely: Asians, particularly recent immigrant Asians, kill whites on grades. The test score advantage is getting (suspiciously) worse, but the grade advantage is huge.

        That wasn’t part of the plan. Look, universities know the game as well as anyone: grades are a fraud. That’s why, until relatively recently, all universities weighted test scores as high or higher than grades.

        If high school grades were objectively accurate, why does the University of California have an entry level writing requirement?—and why is that writing requirement either a test or a college level course? (And I have my own doubts of college level courses, but more on that later.) Why is remediation a huge issue in state colleges? If high school grades meant anything, schools could just accept students with high grades and hey, presto. Problem solved.

        But Saul Geiser is a good researcher, and his study finds that HSGPA is as good or better a predictor of freshman GPA as test scores. Sure. But that brings up another point: Freshman GPA is pretty worthless, too. It’s a metric that goes back to a time when everyone took the same classes. It’s ancient. It predates the growing disconnect between grades and ability.

        I’d go further and argue that in total, college GPA is worthless for much the same reasons that high school GPA is. We hear constant stories about grade inflation at elite schools, while public universities are under tremendous pressure to pass as many wholly unqualified blacks and Hispanics as they can, given the huge number that can’t even get past the remedial classes. How can grade point average mean anything in a world that requires some students to pass calculus and while others only take remedial math (which they can skip if they got an SAT score of 600+)?

        If college grades were objectively accurate, the “mismatch theory“, for better or worse, couldn’t even be conceived of. If an A at Harvard is the same as an A at Berkeley which is the same as an A at Florida State, then lower ability students couldn’t get higher GPAs at Florida State and Richard Sanders shouldn’t be pushing his mismatch theory. Besides, what do you suppose the renewed push for a college exit exam is about? And in a world where we did require an exit exam, what would be the best predictor of passing rates—college grades or incoming SAT scores? Everyone knows that answer: unless the exit exam was rigged, we’d find that passing rates were best predicted by SAT scores, which would show a distressing, racially uneven, distribution.

        I understand that GPAs are a useful metric because the people who use them filter the data through context—race, school, major, and so on. That’s fine, but not when you have the University of California claiming that HSGPA predicts four-year college outcomes when the university in questions sending easily half of its URM admits into remediation classes.

        UC knows this. The whole GPA thing is just cover. What did a little lie matter, if it allowed them to bring in more blacks and Hispanics and thwart the will of California voters? The only people hurt would be the kids who didn’t get 4.0s.
        Last edited by Epoetker; 03-09-2014, 03:45 PM.

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