Tag Archives: standardized tests

Cheating on a test is wrong–unquestionably, irredeemably wrong. Using unethical or illegal means to inflate a test score not only penalizes those who follow the rules but also harms both those who use the test scores and the cheaters themselves. One needs very little imagination to see how SAT scores divorced from the actual levels of math, English, and critical reasoning ability those scores are meant to reflect lead to very bad college admissions outcomes. So, do not ever cheat on the SAT or any other test. That said, you may really, really, really want a higher score than you are capable of earning, even with expert help. Once you open your mind to even the possibility of using unfair means, you may come to recognize an eternal truth: where there are tests, there is cheating. The history of the SAT is rich with examples of test takers angling for…

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The SAT and ACT, as if testing a ton of math, grammar, and reading comprehension wasn’t tough enough, also challenge a test taker’s time management skills. Basically, many students fail to finish specific sections, which is by design. The highest scores go to those who earn the most points, which usually requires seeing ALL of the questions. So what do you do when you tend to run out of time on a section? 1. Focus first on accuracy instead of speed. Getting to more questions means nothing if you get those questions wrong. Your best score begins with answering as many of the questions you see correctly. Sometimes that means learning the math or grammar content that is tested, while other times, learning the right way to read will be the key to greater accuracy. 2. Learn the right strategies. A perfect note on a flute doesn’t come naturally; neither…

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Despite the unending stream of criticism levied against standardized testing, these exams serve vital roles in all sorts of educational, admissions, and licensing assessments… assuming the tests are truly standardized. The SAT and ACT, for example, deliver valuable data to admissions officers who trust that each exam mirrors every other in form, timing, and administration. The availability of representative sample tests and crystal clear rules assure fairness even for those students taking a brand new test. What, then, should we make of this new SAT, set to drop worldwide this coming Saturday? We want to believe that the four practice tests available in the Official SAT Study Guide (2016 Edition) represent the real test. Yet this book, which represents the sum total of published practice SATs, is woefully incomplete; not only does the book lack score conversion tables for the new tests, it says absolutely nothing about an experimental section…

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In any line of work or study, the people you surround yourself with strongly influence how happy you are going to be. Luckily for me, I landed in an incredible community filled with families that feel as passionately and think as deeply about quality education as I do.  Rochester won’t stay a well-kept secret for long if others find out how committed to learning, success, and–most important of all–balance we are around here. And when I think of these qualities, I think of Pam Sherman, who I’ve known as a client and a friend for most of my short life here in the Flour City. Over the years, we’ve had many opportunities to debate the role and relevance of standardized tests. Pam, a Renaissance woman whose bio includes attorney, actor, and international speaker, doesn’t exactly love tests like the SAT and ACT: As my daughter, and my son before her, have…

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All standardized tests tend to be lumped into the same amorphous category, even though different exams obviously, either by design or error, test different attributes and abilities. The SAT and ACT represent the pinnacles of test design, each meticulously crafted over decades to assess much more than the average test taker can imagine. Neither of these exams qualify as IQ tests, but both require the application of various forms of intelligence. Psychologist Raymond Cattell classified two different types of intelligence: crystallized and fluid. Crystallized intelligence represents the ability to access and use learned knowledge, skills, and experience. On the SAT & ACT, crystallized intelligence represents, among other things, knowledge of grammar rules, math formulas, and vocabulary. Fluid intelligence represents the ability to solve think logically, solve problems, identify patterns, and handle novel scenarios. This category also encompasses mental traits like executive function, working memory, and processing speed. On the SAT…

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We take standardized tests pretty seriously around here, but that doesn’t mean these exams don’t give us all plenty to laugh at. The Onion really nails many of the absurd Pros And Cons Of Standardized Testing. Here are the pros: Every student measured against same narrow, irrelevant set of standards Holds teachers personally accountable for success of large, monolithic testing organizations Western tradition of critical thinking best embodied in bubble-sheet format Keeps students quiet for upwards of 90 minutes Repeated testing carefully develops teachers’ cheating skills Only biased against kids who couldn’t afford college anyway Data. More data Visit the Onion to see the cons of standardized testing, or at least the ones they’ve listed!

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