2016 Sat Change Essay

1193 words - 5 pages

How wonderful is it that since 1926 (Balf), one of the sole components of what will define a scholar, including his intelligence and creativity, and singlehandedly determine his fate for the rest of his life in this 21st century… happens to be a multiple choice test covering only mathematic and literary skills? Not to mention, the “Scholastic Aptitude Test” barely measures “IQ” or skill, but how much one studies and prepares beforehand! Also, at least for a few, it can boil down only to a simple measure of stamina and focus. From experience, I recall that its ten scrambled sections became disorientating and exhausting after four hours and afterwards, I had drained and almost incapable of ...view middle of the document...

.. which can be useful outside of the testing room. Also, words, while some may hold very similar meaning, still may have different use in context. For example, Smarick said that “paternalistic” and “avuncular” can both relate to a guardianship, but the first denotes “usurping others’ liberties”, like how a father might act towards his offspring, while avuncular describes “kindliness and geniality”, much like that of how an uncle might act. Still, in a comment on Smarick’s article, Coleman responded, “…Show me a kid who knows deeply what synthesis, empirical, and other powerful words can mean - who can't go on to learn the words and distinctions you describe - I bet it would be hard to find one…” Yet, there are many that fit such criteria, and those who do not… probably do not all plan on majoring in English later in their lives. There is so much evidence against this English change, yet the College Board still continues with it, headstrong.
Next, the upcoming essay has many faults. First of all, it is optional. Of course, this means every year, thousands, if not more, will find their SAT to be 50 minutes shorter than it should be (Welsh). Many will be devastated to know colleges do indeed require the timed essay to be written. (Later… typed) Also, the current essay is about well-developed, timed writing. In fact, according to Balf, Perelman, a SAT tutor, said, “You can tell them the War of 1812 began in 1945.” Factual accuracy is not regarded; only details and writing skills. Unfortunately, on the new optional essay, students will be faced not with writing about a topic, but with writing about another passage from specific career-related sources; facts must be accurate and evidence must be provided (College Board). In this case, the best change they could have made to the essay would have been no change at all.
Finally, there are the terrible math changes... composed of “Problem Solving and Data Analysis, the Heart of Algebra, and Passport to Advanced Math” (College Board). First, they are putting the questions in real world context, which “contribute to readiness for college and career training” (College Board). Why would they do this? The test should provide questions for all students to present an equal opportunity, not just for those who plan to be engineers when they grow up. Next, just like the English section, they plan to “dumb it down” in alignment with the Common Core, supposedly to help students become familiar with topics...

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