Believe it or not, there was quite a bit of news in June in the world of test prep and college admissions!
Here’s a quick recap:
College Board’s Typo
Of course possibly the biggest thing to happen was College Board’s printing error. The test itself said students had 25 minutes for Sections 8 and 9, while proctors were told students only got 20 minutes. This led to a lot of confusion, understandably.
College Board later announced that the two sections would not be scored, but assured everyone that the scores would still be reliable.
However, students (and parents) didn’t have faith that the scores would be reliable and started a petition for College Board to allow students to have a free retake of the test. One student even sued over the error. College Board then announced that students who took the June SAT can get fee waivers for the October SAT.
This sparked a mixed reaction, as some worried that the October date would be too late for early college application deadlines and scholarship deadlines.
People are now calling forthe College Board to offer a summer retake. Stay tuned to see how that turns out.
Throwback Look at the “Original” SAT: June 23, 1926
In other test prep news, Time Magazine posted a look back at the first SAT shining a light on the fact that it wasn’t easier than the test students need to take today; it was just “different.”
Back in the day, time was of the essence when taking the test. Students had to finish 315 questions in 97 minutes compared to the 3 hours and 45 minutes allowed today to finish 170 questions and write an essay.
The article points out that just like anything else, the SAT has evolved over the years to mirror what’s happening in high school education, college admissions, and in the world that we live in.
It got me to thinking…
Why was the SAT created in the first place?
According to the SAT timeline published by PBS for their series Frontline, the SAT was created as the result of a couple things: the formation of the College Board in 1900 by 12 presidents of the most prestigious universities wanting to even the playing field for students applying to boarding schools, and the introduction of the IQ test by French psychologist, Alfred Binet, whose intent was to identify slow learners by determining their mental age.
The IQ test was used during WWI to help determine the best officer candidates and it was through this process that Carl C. Brigham discovered there was a great divide in education and intelligence between certain segments of the American population. Our educational system was failing some and helping others thrive. Clearly there was an imbalance at work.
It was this imbalance that spurred the College Board to put Brigham in charge of creating a committee to develop and administer a test that would even the playing field for students no matter where they went to school. This resulted in the development of the SAT, which was first administered to a wide range of high school students in 1926.
Turn the clock forward 89 years and the test is still used as a tool by admission counselors of colleges and universities to get a benchmark on basic academic concepts and principles to determine who would be the best fit for their institution.
Banana-less Dining Halls? Oh My!
In the world of college admissions, the Boston Globe posted an interesting article about how picky students can be during campus visits. One student claims that a lack of bananas being offered in the dining hall could be a deal breaker. The video used in the article was filmed at Boston College (where I’m a student) so I am a bit biased.
Tips for Filling Out Your FAFSA
Forbes published a helpful article about how the order of schools you list on the FAFSA could harm your application. Turns out that schools can see this and many admissions officers think the schools are listed in order of preference.
Since schools want high yields (high % of students who get accepted will attend), they might reject students who are unlikely to attend the university. Thus, the best way to list schools on your FAFSA application would be alphabetically, so the admissions officers know you didn’t list them by preference.
Have you read anything interesting lately in the world of test prep or college admissions? If so, share it in the comments below.