In the world of standardized testing, one test is getting a major update. The College Board recently announced that the SAT would be going entirely online in 2024. Following the trends spurred on by the pandemic, this shouldn't seem surprising. Especially since other tests have already been making the shift like the GRE, GMAT and TOEFL exam. But what are the implications for this new test?
Summer is here, but the impacts of the pandemic are here to stay
School is out, and that well-deserved summer vacation is finally upon us. This year has been nothing short of exceptional, and students, parents and teachers should all be proud of how they’ve coped and adapted to the unique challenges of the pandemic. As we head into the summer season, it’s important to reflect on the lessons the pandemic has taught us and predict some of the short and long-term impacts. Here are some of our thoughts.
Teaching through a pandemic has met with various levels of success. But overall, the shift to online learning proved to be a big and often unrewarding challenge. One of the strongest impacts of the pandemic on teachers is that more and more of them may leave, retire, or adapt their methods. K-12 Teachers who first struggled with the Common Core, and later with the online learning modes that were forced on them, will leave in greater numbers. The pressure of following a curriculum and learning entirely new teaching methods proved to be too much for certain teachers. Similarly, college professors who were caught off-guard by online learning and obtained negative reviews from students will re-evaluate their future and either retire or learn from the experience. It seems that very few found online learning fruitful, and there will be a negative connotation towards online learning unless there is a modification to gauge involvement and engagement from individual students.
Due to the flaws in online learning and little time to test trial and error, high school and some college students will discover serious academic gaps. With unequal connections to the Internet and difficulty following classes that are less and less hands-on and engaging, the difference in academic success is measurable. As a result, both high schools and colleges will discard online learning motions that failed and invest in online learning that can still be used post-pandemic to complement courses and overall curriculum.
Topics: College Essays, College Applications, college preparation, ACT, college admissions, SAT/ACT, SAT prep, college counseling, high school senior, high school junior, test optional, GPA, education gaps due to covid, college finances, pandemic impact on education, college freshmen, college financial situation
Standardized test scores have long been a staple of the college application. Students generally start studying for the SAT or ACT well in advance and schedule multiple test dates to submit the highest scores possible. This type of testing was deemed useful to colleges and universities because it was supposed to be indicative of student performance: a direct, concrete way to evaluate academic skills. However, the reality is not exactly that.
Standardized testing has undergone quite a bit of criticism as well, bringing to light biases against race and socio-economic status, and little prediction of future academic performance. So COVID-19 has been the straw that broke the camel’s back in a struggle of universal acceptance.
It’s clear that the pandemic has changed the old ways of applying to college. With many colleges and universities giving students a break this year and adopting temporary or permanent test-optional policies, there is a whole new game to master.
According to a recent article, the test optional application has required admissions officers to take a new stance when evaluating prospective students. Whereas before, testing was a relatively simple way to classify students into ranks, without it, other factors such as GPA, essays and recommendations are gaining more weight and importance.
From an admissions standpoint, the shift away from testing shouldn’t mean that it will be more difficult and time-consuming to evaluate applications, but that applications will be approached from a different perspective. One such approach is polling, used by admissions officers to rate candidates based on their transcripts. This technique is used now at Cornell.
Topics: College Essays, College Applications, college preparation, ACT, college admissions, SAT/ACT, SAT prep, Cornell University, college counseling, high school senior, high school junior, test optional, GPA, college essay topics
Once high school hits, there is one thing on a lot of parents’ minds: test prep. Between academics and extracurriculars, it can often be confusing to know when to start your student on an SAT/ACT Prep track. To help, we’ve compiled 4 factors to consider when determining the appropriate time to begin.
Right on the heels of the College Bribery Scandal is the SAT Adversity Score. Just when parents are absorbing the meaning of the college admissions missteps, there appears to be a new concern.
Topics: college prep, college process, SAT/ACT, college scandal, college cheating scandal, college bribery scandal, SAT prep, adversity SAT score, operation varsity blues, environmental context dashboard, SAT adversity score, college board