Time for another monthly roundup! Let's see what happened this month in the world of test prep and college applications, shall we?
There was quite a bit that happened in October when it came to the intersection of politics and education. Recently, the Obama administration called for limits on testing in schools. They encouraged schools to give more purpose to the tests that they give. This, of course, will have to make it through Congress first, but the goal is to make sure no student spends more than 2% of their time in school taking tests.
Now, these tests don't include the SAT or ACT but rather other mandatory standardized tests students must take (which includes Common Core tests). It didn't take too long for opinion posts to come out.
The Washington Post posted a piece stating that students aren't tested as much as we think they are, and that the stakes are not that high. Meanwhile, Slate questioned whether or not the Obama administration will even be able to cut down on testing.
Shifting over to college admissions tests, New York City will be offering the SAT for free to public high school juniors as quoted in a recent New York Times article. The goal: to allow for more students to be able to take the exam who otherwise would not be able to due to financial constraints.
The NEW SAT is Coming! The NEW SAT is Coming!
Students got their first sneak peak of the redesigned SAT this month when the NEW PSAT was administered. Responses are mixed. The Press of Atlantic Cityreported that students thought the test was longer but "less tricky" and closer to what they were covering in class. However, one student did mention that the math section was tougher and took more time.
Meanwhile, theSacramento Bee reported that students thought the entire exam was difficult.They agreed that the calculator-free math section was especially arduous.
Is your student planning on taking the NEW SAT? The Huffington Post posted some tips on how to prepare for the (optional) essay.
Helpful Advice When Applying to College
Speaking of the optional essay, The Journal reports that fewer schools are requiring it for prospective students.
There's also going to be an alternative to the Common App. A coalition of over 80 schools (including all of the Ivy League schools, other private universities, as well as public schools) called the Coalition For College Access.
Their goal is to make the college application process more fair for low-income students. They provide college application tools and articles to help families better navigate the process. It includes features the Common App does not offer, such as the option to contact teachers for advice on the essay. This article from the Washington Post, however, questions if the coalition is really about access.
Lastly, there's been a plethora of advice posted in various publications that you or your student may find helpful.
- U.S. News gives some advice on making the most of a college fair.
- Forbes has some advice from prep school "pros" on whether or not your child should apply Early Decision.
- The Examiner has some tips for parents on helping their children through the daunting college application process.
- Business Insider lists 7 common mistakes students make while applying to college.
- And lastly, Forbes has some recommendations for the college application essay.
This has been a packed recap! Hope you found this helpful, if you need more information on the SAT or ACT, check out our Parent Resource Center.