Rethinking the SAT: The Future of Standardized Testing in University Admissions

Rethinking the SAT: The Future of Standardized Testing in University Admissions

Rethinking the SAT: The Future of Standardized Testing in University Admissions

Rethinking the SAT: The Future of Standardized Testing in University Admissions

Synopsis

Rethinking the SAT is a unique presentation of the latest thoughts and research findings of key individuals in the world of college admissions, including the president of the largest public university system in the U.S., as well as the presidents of the two companies that sponsor college admissions tests in the U.S. The contributors address not only the pros and cons of the SAT itself, but the broader question of who should go to college in the twenty-first century.

Excerpt

Rethinking the SAT: The Future of Standardized Testing in University Admissions took shape during a unique period in the history of college admissions policy. The conference on which it is based was spurred by a February 2001 speech by University of California president Richard C. Atkinson, in which he recommended the elimination of the SAT I (the test we know as “the SAT”) as a criterion for admission to the university and advocated an immediate switch to college admissions tests that are tied closely to the high school curriculum.

As Rethinking the SAT got off the ground in late 2001, educators, students, policymakers, and journalists around the country were debating the virtues and flaws of the SAT. At the same time, discussions of a more formal kind were taking place between the University of California and the two companies that produce college admissions tests, the College Board and ACT, Inc. In early 2002, the College Board announced that it planned to alter the SAT I; the proposed changes were approved by College Board trustees in June. The new SAT, scheduled to be in place by 2005, will substitute short reading items for the controversial verbal analogy items, incorporate more advanced math content, and add a writing section. These changes are expected to better align the test with the college preparatory courses UC applicants are required to take. Several months later, ACT, Inc. announced that it too would make a change by adding an optional writing section to the ACT during the 2004-2005 school year.

Finally, as Rethinking the SAT was being completed, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on a pair of cases of monumental importance, Gratz v. Bollinger . . .

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