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Todd Shively

Hunger Games Perspective on the New SAT and College Admissions

There is about to be an onslaught of press in the coming months about the new SAT. Fortunately you are going to avoid all the press and hand wringing and parental freakouts, since you’ll be taking your test before the big change happens.

You don’t even need to read that article. Here are some of the important points that it makes about the current SAT, most of which you already know:

  • The vocabulary sections still test strange words that you may have never heard before (but they won’t be as obscure).
  • The test rewards speed.
  • You are being ranked not according to your performance alone, but your performance compared to every other test taker.
  • Small differences in test score can mean significant difference in your ranking.
  • Preparing for the test is important.

HungerGamesThere is one additional bit of data that is easy to forget. The authors say that the SAT and ACT actually add fuel to the Hunger Games college admissions competition “by exaggerating the importance of small differences in test scores that have only marginal relevance for later success in college.”

In other words, your 720 on the maths does not mean that in your freshman year you will get a B- in Physics 152, and that everyone else who got a 740 and above will do better. So keep things in perspective.

About Todd Shively

Todd Shively is an ancient graduate of Purdue University, where he changed his mind so many times that he finished with a major in English and a minor in math. He has taught high school in three different states and currently teaches in Scotland, where he lives with his family. In his spare time he bakes his own sourdough bread and tries to work those carbs off doing Crossfit.

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