Anxious Montgomery County students and parents filled the SAC Tuesday night for an informational session about the new SAT.
The new SAT will be implemented in March of 2005 for the class of 2006. Along with changes to the math and verbal sections, a new writing section will be added, making the highest possible score a 2400 and the total test time 35 minutes longer, said Mary Fry, who works for the College Board and conducted the meeting.
The College Board states that the new SAT is being administered in order to "make the SAT more consistent with the curriculum practices in high school and college, help colleges make better admissions placement decisions and reinforce the importance of writing skills throughout the student's education."
The writing section will be similar to the Writing SAT II, in which students answer multiple-choice questions and respond to a prompt. Each prompt will consist of an opinion question and the students must respond, writing persuasively. According to the College Board, many colleges have endorsed the writing section and will no longer require a Writing SAT II. Colleges will also have access to the student's essay online and will be able to use that in their decision-making process.
Changes will also be made to the verbal section. The analogies will be removed and replaced with short critical reading passages. According to Fry, these passages are designed to "make you think and draw conclusions."
Algebra II-based questions will replace quantitative comparisons in the math sections. Examples of new math concepts include scatterplots, matrices, absolute value and trigonometry.
Many parents seemed skeptical about the changes. Parents were mainly concerned that the class of 2006 would not have enough prep time since practice tests will not be released until the summer of 2004. Parents worried that SAT strategies would change for the new test after Fry warned parents that prep courses would not have access to the test until it is released to the public.
Carol K. Blum, director of high-school instruction and achievement, attempted to alleviate parental concerns by assuring that MCPS is working very closely with the College Board to make sure students are prepared. She said they are working together to make a test prep course, which is now being offered online.
Meanwhile, Fry said the best way to study is to answer practice questions
when they are available and read and write out of school.
For more information, visit the College Board
Cori Cohen. Cori Cohen is a senior. And guess what? She made has made some new friends! CICADAS! She loves taking them for drives and is starting a "save the cicadas program." More »