Students — and Reporters — Ring in the Redesigned SAT
Students — and Reporters — Ring in the Redesigned SATCrystal Barrick, Assistant Director, Communications
The College Board and the redesigned SAT took center stage this month: national and local media outlets highlighted changes to the exam and how they benefit students, and students voiced their support for the new format and Khan Academy’s free practice tools.
Ahead of the first administration of the new SAT, media outlets had some fun reporting on changes to the 90-year-old exam: The New York Times said farewell to obscure vocabulary words with an elegiac crossword puzzle; TIME released a video of their writers attempting to define “SAT words;” The Chicago Tribune bid adieu to the old content and welcomed Khan Academy’s world-class practice resources; and Today Show anchors answered new SAT questions live on the air.
College Board president David Coleman also talked to the Today Show about how free, high-quality SAT practice tools can level the playing field for all students. Stacy Caldwell, vice president of college readiness assessments for the College Board, shared last-minute test-taking tips with students on Forbes . Cyndie Schmeiser, chief of assessment, talked with WBUR’s Here and Now about how the new test focuses on the few things that evidence show matter most for college and career readiness.
And in Connecticut, teachers created an Adele parody video, titled “ Hello SAT ,” to cheer on their students.
Meanwhile, students in Florida , New York , and Pennsylvania told reporters they felt confident going into the redesigned SAT; many of them had prepared for it using free practice resources from the College Board and Khan Academy.
Hundreds of thousands of students finally sat down to take the exam — for free, in their own schools — on March 2, as part of SAT School Day . The next morning, The Washington Post announced on the front page that students said the exam has improved . And a story from The Associated Press , which was subsequently picked up by more than 250 national and local outlets, began: “Not so tricky. More straightforward. Guessing allowed. The newly redesigned SAT college entrance exam that debuts nationally Saturday is getting good reviews from some of the students who took it early this week.”
Thousands more students across the country took the SAT on Saturday, March 5, and continued to celebrate the changes. Based on results from College Board’s post-administration survey of more than 8,000 test-takers, Education World announced that “71 percent of students reportedly said the test reflected what they are learning in school” and “19 percent fewer students are paying for test preparation thanks to the free resources now available to them’’ — namely, Khan Academy. EdSurge shared how students got ready for the test, revealing what they ate for breakfast and what songs they listened to.
A few students took to Twitter with their successes:
@OfficialSAT I really liked the new SAT!— E (@edgarjimenezlun) March 5, 2016
@CollegeBoard I absolutely ADORED the articles in the Reading section. There were some really scrumptious pieces - especially in science.— Lucia Stark (@LuciaStark8) March 5, 2016
That was sick... Can I do it again?????? @CollegeBoard— molly (@mollyolo) March 5, 2016
On the heels on these positive reactions, David Coleman and Sal Khan had one more big announcement to make this week: more than 1 million users have practiced for the SAT through Khan Academy, and the number is growing.