Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

College Board Jumps into Sat Coaching as Test Changes Loom Partners with Khan for Free Exam Prep

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

College Board Jumps into Sat Coaching as Test Changes Loom Partners with Khan for Free Exam Prep

Article excerpt

For many years, the College Board argued that its SAT college entrance exam wasn't coachable, but now the nonprofit is firmly in the test preparation camp with a new online offering.

While students have spent millions of dollars on test prep over the years, this coaching is free, thanks to a partnership between the College Board and Khan Academy, which offers free online education in a wide variety of fields.

With a redesigned SAT to debut in March 2016, the College Board and Khan on Tuesday rolled out a website aimed at helping students prepare for the new SAT as well as the new PSAT/NMSQT, which will be offered this October.

The SAT will affect students largely beginning with the high school Class of 2017. Some colleges, however, do not require the SAT, and many accept the ACT, another college entrance exam.

The SAT practice information can be found on the Internet at KhanAcademy.org. It is aimed at providing more college access and leveling the playing field for students who may be behind or may not be able to afford private help.

The site includes four practice exams, a series of math and reading quizzes and some tips, ranging from ways to build a "growth mindset" to strategies such as realizing the first math questions are the easiest but count just as much as the hard ones at the end. The exams will provide a raw score, but not a score on the 1600- point scale that is being developed.

The partnership was announced about a year ago when the College Board revealed major changes in the test. The current SAT has three parts, each worth 800 points: math, critical reading and writing. The new SAT will have two, each worth 800 points: math and a combined writing and language. There also will be an optional essay.

There are other changes as well. There will be no penalty for guessing. The test will use "high utility" words rather than obscure ones. The math test will include sections with and without a calculator. …

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