Tag Archives: standardized tests

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!

Spend anytime analyzing the projected 2016 revisions to the SAT, and you might recognize that the College Board was set on its potentially calamitous path long ago. In fact, one might identify the beginning of the end, not just of SAT dominance but perhaps even relevance, to 2001. That was when Richard C. Atkinson, at the time the president of the University of California system, recommended elimination of the SAT as a requirement for admission. His criticism instigated the ill-fated 2005 revision to the SAT that ultimately opened the door for ACT ascendancy in the college admissions test arms race. Unrepentant, Atkinson has continued his unrelenting and, in many ways, irrational attack on the SAT. His most recent volley comes in the Op-Ed section of the New York Times, where he purports to describe The Big Problem With the New SAT: “And the biggest problem is this: While the content…

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