Five lies about the SAT


Newsweek posted a story from a “college consultant” on lies about the SAT. A few issues with her observations:
1) the ACT is easier than the SAT
I think I agree with her on this issue, although it was hard to understand what her point was. Neither is “easier” but some students seem to perform better on one than the other. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be any way to know which will be better for you.
2) The PSAT is a good incator of SAT score
Although the SAT is longer, so far the data on the math portion seems to track fairly well with the two tests, and the non-writing English portion as well. Of course, if the SAT was so awful that it needed to be changed and if the writing test is so great, why the heck do they leave the PSAT the way it is?
3) The May is easier than the January
I agree with the consultant – that’s just hooey.
4) The writing test doesn’t count
Actually at a bunch of schools it really doesn’t. Fortunately the writing test isn’t in the US News ranking, so most schools can safely ignore it. A few are looking, but several schools are actively avoiding it. My English faculty hate the test so we don’t use it at all.
5) The Math on the SAT is very complex
I agree on this one as well. Anyone ready for college should be able to handle the SAT math section reasonably well.

Funny that she left off the biggest lie of all, that the SAT predicts college performance, or is a good way of determining college quality. The SAT, when used appropriately in conjunction with, and given far less weight than, academic records may at times provide a slightly increased prediction of college performance for some students. That’s about it. Makes you wonder what all the fuss is about, doesn’t it? Be seeing you.

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