SAT QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS - FAQs
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The College Board
What is the new SAT Score Reporting Policy?
Students have the freedom to send the scores by sitting (test date) that they feel best represent their ability to colleges and universities, at no additional cost. Designed to reduce student stress and improve the test-day experience, this new score-reporting feature will launch in early February 2009, and will therefore be available to students participating in the March 2009 test administration.
Additionally, this score-reporting feature is optional to students. If a student chooses not to select their scores, all of their scores will be sent.
This score-reporting feature also gives colleges the ability to choose which scores are required for admission. Colleges and universities will communicate any changes to their admissions policies or application requirements to students.
* Students will be able to select which scores they send to colleges by sitting (test date) for the SAT and by individual test for SAT Subject Tests™.
* Scores from an entire SAT test will be sent—scores of individual sections from different sittings cannot be selected independently for sending.
* Students can send any or all scores to a college on a single report—it will not cost more to send one, multiple or all test scores.
* Students will be instructed to follow the different score-reporting requirements of each college to which they apply.
* The new score-reporting feature will be optional—if students do not use it, all scores will be sent automatically.
* The score-reporting feature can be used on any score report that students send: o The four score reports available through online or phone registration (applying to already scored tests) and additional score reports
* The new score-reporting feature functionality will be available to all students via the Web or by calling Customer Service toll free (within the United States)
* Students who complete a test prior to the launch of the new score-reporting feature will be able to take advantage of this option when sending past or future scores.
Q: Is the score-reporting feature available for both SAT and SAT Subject Tests score reports?
A: Yes. Students are able to select which scores they send to colleges by sitting (test date) for the SAT and by individual test for SAT Subject Tests.
Q: Does the new score-reporting feature affect other aspects of SAT registration and score-report timing, policies or processes?
A: No. The new score-reporting feature allows students to select which scores are sent to institutions. It does not affect score-report timing or other policies and procedures that are not directly related to sending score reports.
* SAT Program for K-12 * Phone: (888) SAT-HELP * International: (212) 520-8600
The College Board - SAT Administrators>
For more SAT Questions and Answers go to the College Board
What is the College Board?
The College Board, a non-profit association, is composed of more than 4,700 schools, colleges, universities, and other educational organizations. Each year, the College Board serves over three million students and their parents, 23,000 high schools, and 3,500 colleges through major programs and services in college admissions, guidance, assessment, financial aid, enrollment, and teaching and learning.
Among its best known programs are the SAT, the PSAT/NMSQT, and the Advanced Placement Program. (Courtesy of the College Board.)
What is the Educational Testing Service (ETS)?
The Educational Testing Service (ETS) prepares and administers the SAT under contract to the College Board, which first commissioned the tests in 1926.
The ETS also prepares the GRE for graduate school admissions, the CBEST test for California teaching applicants, and other specialized testing for education and other professions, including the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), and the TWE (Test of Written English), sometimes required along with the TOEFL.
What was the purpose of the early tests?
Twelve selective institutions in the northeastern U.S. wanted "entrance exams" that would compare students fairly and equitably, regardless of where they went to high school. The test was devised to assess ability and acquired knowledge more broadly so that the exam would not depend on the specifics of any curriculum.
The first exams consisted of a series of essays in nine subjects.
Is the SAT fair?
The College Board, and ETS, try very hard to make the test fair. It is the most researched test in the world, and it takes more than two years to develop a form of the SAT.
Each SAT question goes through a series of at least four content reviews, sometimes more.
The questions are each subjected to a "sensitivity" review to be sure it is fair in content and tone for all students.
A statistical review called "differential item functioning" (DIF) is used to compare how subgroups of students perform on each question. If students from different groups who have approximately equal knowledge and skill perform in substantially different ways on a test question, it is discarded or revised and reviewed again.
There is the opinion of some that in its efforts to eliminate any gender and racial bias, the tests currently reflect a bias against white males. Anyone who studies the test exhaustively as I have, knows that the critical reading sections about minorities or other cultures, never criticize them in any way. Keep this in mind when answering the questions: everyone waits for the minority questions and in general, chose answers that reflect only positively about the particular group.
Caucasians are another matter, with the exception of people like Thomas Jefferson, Frank Lloyd Wright, Mark Twain, and a couple of others, most Caucasian examples are people like Hitler.
Is the New Sat (2005) harder than the old one?
The current test, introduced in March 2005, is different,longer, not harder. In spite of all the complaints, the test is, in many ways, a very good test for what it attempts to do.
The test measures reasoning ability and problem-solving skills gained through activities and learning, in and out of school.
The new SAT covers some topics from Algebra II, including some function problems and probability questions. No Logs. Early Trig., from Geometry and Algebra II.
The critical reading sections will seem easier to students who did not like the analogies. New in the critical reading sections are the short reading passages, given in addition to the long reading passages present in both the old test and the current exam.
What used to be the SAT II Writing Exam, is now a new part of the SAT I Reasoning test, and includes a 25-minute essay writing exercise.
Editorial Comment:The ACT test is more widely used and is in some ways similar to the SAT. As we dumb down our schools, continue with inflated grades, and lower out expectations, there will be pressure to water-down anything testing qualifications, especially a difficult test.
On the ACT writing the essay is optional, always regard "optional" as required.
The essay is a requirement on the SAT. The essay requirements on the ACT are, in my opinion, easier that those on the SAT. The SAT prompts are more indicative of what will be required by a college professor, and require a more philosophical, thoughtful response. Even though you can make up your examples, the writer is frequently answering a moral or ethical question.
What is the new policy concerning test scores sent to colleges?
There are some misunderstandings about the new policy concerning SAT scores and what gets sent to the colleges and universities.
The College Board sends your SAT I Reasoning score of choice, selected by sitting, to the colleges you select. Depending on the school, some will take highest scores from different tests, while others require scores from one sitting.
For Subject Matter tests: if you take a particular test more than once, you can choose which scores from the individual tests you wish to have sent.
What about the Math? Do I have to be a math genious?
The math content on the SAT I exam reflects current classroom practices and college admissions standards.
You need to have taken Algebra I, Geometry, and Algebra II.
The SAT tests about 100 math concepts on its tests, most of which you know. The difference is the way they frame the questions. You need to practice these and the other tests.
Almost 80% of high school students finish Algebra II , or an equivalent, by their junior year. 97% of all college-bound students complete three years of math, and almost 70% take four or more years of high school math. Most colleges require three years of math, and many recommend four years.
How can a student write a decent essay in 25 minutes?
The College Board recognizes that this will not be a polished result. It is more of a draft, and will be scored as such. The essay is similar to the to an in-class essay requirement for college exams.
Back when the essay was a part of the SAT Subject Matter English Writing Test, the time frame for the essay was 20 minutes.
For students who choose to purchase college applications essays, or have someone else write them for you, I would caution you to think that idea over carefully. If you make Cs in English, your SAT I essay shows little writing skill, and you turn in a Pulitzer Prize winning application essay, it may prompt the college or university to take a closer look at the components that give a complete picture of your writing.
What constitutes a "good" essay?
Writing the SAT Essay
Who scores the essays?
The essays are scored by trained high school and college teachers who have three years or more of classroom experience.
How are the SAT essays scored?
The essay is scored by qualified readers who take into consideration such aspects as complexity of thought, development of the topic, and ability with the English language.
The College Board refers to this as a holistic approach, that is, a piece of writing is considered as a total work, which is greater than the sum of its parts.
Each essay is scored separately by two readers. Each reader gives the essay a score of 1 to 6, with 6 being the highest, based on the quality of the essay and its demonstration of writing competence.
If the total score of these two readers differs by more than one point, a third reader reads the essay, grades it, and that score is doubled to produce the final score, which is based on a total possible score of 12.
The essay is worth 30% of the total points for the writing section, or about 240 points out of 800.
How do spelling, grammar, and handwriting affect the score?
Spelling errors do not affect a student's score unless they get in the way of the reader's ability to understand the essay.
The readers will also over look a few errors here and there in grammar and punctuation.
Handwriting is not evaluated, but the reader must be able to read the essay, otherwise the writer risks having it thrown out.
What else does the writer have to be careful about?
You must stick to the topic given to you in the test. YOu must write legibly
What if I get sick during the exam?
Depending on how sick you are, try to tough it out; you can take it again later.
However, if you have to leave for any reason, you have 72 hours to phone College Board, and explain the circumstances. If valid, they will schedule for the next test date, with no additional charge.
In addition, I believe that excessively bad proctoring should constitute a reason to ask for another test date. Disruptive behavior by anyone in the room can affect your test results.
WRITING THE SAT EXAM ESSAY
What is the most common SAT Questions and Answers Query?
Probably the most common SAT Question and Answer query I hear is about whether or not the SATs were changed to accommodate the University of California.
It is true that the University of California, along with the California State University system, accounts for a large number of the students who take the test, the University of California did suggest that the analogies be eliminated, and that writing be added.
However a research commission recommended back in the early nineties, for example, that a writing exercise be included on the SAT I test. At that time however, the suggestion was not adopted because of the technological inability to transmit millions of student essays to the professional readers for scoring. This, of course, is easy today.
Every once in a while you reference the University of California in this Q&A section. Why is that?
While it is true that we reference the University of California in these SAT Questions and Answers, it is for a practical reason.
As the largest university system in the United States, and in fact, the world, the UC system has a lot of influence on SAT testing. Over 100,000 students who take the tests intend on applying to the UC system, and an even larger number apply to the Cal State University system.
In addition, the academic requirements for acceptance to the University of California are such that if a high school student meets those requirements, he or she will be have fulfilled the course requirements for almost any colleges and the universities in the country. Remember that "fulfilling requirements includes high grades and test scores" but it also means taking the generally accepted college prep curriculum.
As you visit the pages on this comprehensive college website, you will notice that we have links and information for all colleges in the U.S. and some in Canada and the UK.
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