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College Board provides a glimpse of new SAT

College Board Releases Preview Of SAT Makeover

WASHINGTON (AP) - Anxious students - not to mention their parents - can get a heads-up for how the redesigned SAT might look in two years.

Sample questions for the new version of the college-entrance test were released on Wednesday by the College Board, which announced last month that the new test will include real-world applications and require more analysis. Students will also be asked to cite evidence to show their understanding of texts.

A reading passage provided as an example was adapted from a speech delivered in 1974 by Rep. Barbara Jordan, D-Texas, during the impeachment hearings of President Richard Nixon. Test takers must answer questions that best describe Jordan's stance and the main rhetorical effect of a part of the passage.

Another sample question asks test takers to calculate what it would cost an American traveling in India to convert dollars to rupees. Another question requires students to use the findings of a political survey to answer questions.

The College Board said all the information about the redesigned test, which is due out in 2016, is in draft form and subject to change.

"It is our goal that every student who takes the test will be well informed and will know exactly what to expect on the day of the test," College Board President David Coleman and Cynthia Schmeiser, the College Board's chief of assessment, said in a letter posted online.

Every test will include a passage from the U.S. founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, or conversations they've inspired, the College Board has said. The essay section, which is becoming optional, will require students to read a passage and explain how the author constructed an argument.

Other changes to the SAT include making a computer-based version of the test an option, getting rid of the penalty for wrong answers, limiting the use of a calculator to select sections and returning to a 1,600-point scale. The College Board said obscure vocabulary words would be replaced with those more likely to be used in classrooms or on the job, and the math section will concentrate on areas that "matter most for college and career readiness and success."

The SAT was once the predominant college admissions exam, but it has been overtaken in popularity by the ACT.

The ACT, which already offers an optional essay, announced last year that it would begin making computer-based testing available. It said Monday that about 4,000 high school students had taken a digital version of the ACT two days earlier as part of a pilot.

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beck2277 April 17 2014 at 7:58 AM

I would like to see wher the Public school Math Departments in High schools really teach students 'how to change dollars to ruppies', what is the real use of that anyway?

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beck2277 April 17 2014 at 7:43 AM

What is the purpose of knowing how to change dollars to ruppies in value, if a person is never going to live in India? The decent job a person can get in India, is at a computer company like Dell, but do Americans reallly want to live in a 3rd world country?

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sjk1335 April 16 2014 at 6:30 PM

I wonder how many reading this article, could convert dollars into rupees, without using the net's currency exchange.

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msggov April 16 2014 at 3:40 PM

The one thing in life we are sure of is change. Not so sure this change is for the good.

I read a copy of my Grandmothers test that was used to license her as a teacher.

I know of no teacher that could pass it today and she was only required to have an 8th grade education to test for a teachers certification.

Show how much our education level has deteriorated.

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Hello Butch April 16 2014 at 3:39 PM

you have a 20% chance of guessing the correct answer. Not bad odds.

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1 reply
James M. Adams Hello Butch April 17 2014 at 7:18 AM

No, those odds suck.

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dapalmlv April 16 2014 at 6:27 PM

I need to go back to college figure with all the upfront into they give you i could get a 4 year degree in about 6 months. On the other hand college it a total waste of money and time because with millions of young people walking out of college with the same type of degrees the companies can offer low wages and take the lowest taker so in effect they are all screwing themselves when it comes to trying to get a good paying job. Learn a trade, electrician, plumber, carpenter, etc and you will never want for work or money to live and most of the jobs you do for cash you can just put in your pocket and not pay taxes on it. COLLEGE IS FOR FOOLS, its old hat now in a NEW WORLD!

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1 reply
LisaRudiBradley dapalmlv April 17 2014 at 8:46 AM

Yes. When I graduated magna cum laud from a state university, you could hardly even borrow money to go. I couldn't! Now, money falls off the trees like manna, and degrees mean nothing. Take myself. For my last job, I was paid $7.25 an hour for over two years and never given full time status or benefits. I was treated like a non person. I was almost through a Master's Degree program (though in a nonrelevant field) and had 25 successful years at a previous office job, with awards. What good is college now? If you're about 25 or 30 years old, it might help you...

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klovepr April 17 2014 at 6:29 AM

As if we needed any further evidence that our public schools have been politicized to the point of blatant liberal bias. Instead of asking about Nixon's NON-impeachment, why not ask about Clinton's REAL impeachment? Better yet, why not ask real-life questions such as how to to live within a budget, or why making babies for more entitlement dollars is not a "real" career?

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1 reply
missiontango klovepr April 17 2014 at 7:03 AM

Are you really equating Clinton getting a BJ with what Nixon did? Really?

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2 replies
James M. Adams missiontango April 17 2014 at 7:10 AM

There is no comparison between a sitting president lying under oath at a deposition and being impeached, vs Nixon's conduct, which would be overlooked in today's society.

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LisaRudiBradley missiontango April 17 2014 at 8:42 AM

I'm with her. I was so totally embarassed by the Clinton scandal that I wish they had immediately removed him, no questions asked. Nothing like being the laughing stock of the world over a butthead. At least Nixon wasn't embarassing. I remember both incidents.

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God Bless You April 16 2014 at 4:07 PM

If this new ACT is like the present mathematic text they have in High Schools, our school system is getting worst. Eliminate altogether the ACT and get good teacher that have also being screened for psychological disorders... In some Country elementary school teachers only need a High School Education. Panama is one of those Country and also national universities are free. You only pay registration fees and for your text ( you will also find the texts in the library ). By the way Panama is considered a third world nation. Panama is saturated with engineers and doctors.

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1 reply
hlwade God Bless You April 16 2014 at 4:57 PM

Schools must have been pretty bad when you attended. The correct word is "worse," not "worst." Several other grammatical errors also.

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1 reply
Dave hlwade April 16 2014 at 6:32 PM

Not only that, but he/she has the subject wrong, the story is about SAT not ACT.

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Cathy April 16 2014 at 2:09 PM

This mirrors the secret reality of the high school proficiencies in NV...the test is based on ninth grade standards, and students have 6 tries to pass it! No wonder students entering college need remedial classes - they only had to master ninth grade skills to be proficient...let's see where that gets us! Oh, wait, we already know.

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bruharris April 16 2014 at 10:19 PM

So where are the sample questions? I'd like to have a chance to review them.

And why are they using Richard Nixon's impeachment proceedings? Why not Bill Clinton's? Here's a fact for you: Richard Nixon was not impeached. Bill Clinton was. Gee, I wonder if there's an agenda there?

Is this an example of a dumbing down and and agenda-based politically-correct question? We shouldn't be biasing our students toward vilifying a particular political point of view - but of course, that's what's happening here.

Let's bash Republicans and ignore Democrats. Let's make our children, when taking a test they consider to be their entree or blockage from getting into college, belive that Republicans are bad. Let's start indoctinating them into the mainstream media philosophy that only Democrats are pure as the driven snow.

I am appalled that the people who set up these tests would be so partisan. But follow the money and you'll see why they are. If they had any true academic belief that higher education should teach young people how to think rather than what to think, this kind of biased crap wouldn't happen.

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