Is the College Board playing a rigged game?

A couple of weeks ago, I posted a guest commentary entitled “For What It’s Worth,” detailing the College Board’s attempt not simply to recapture market share from the ACT but to marginalize that company completely. I’m planning to write a fuller response to the post another time; for now, however, I’d like to focus on one point that was lurking between in the original article but that I think could stand to be made more explicit. It’s pretty apparent that the College Board is competing very...
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So now we come to the end (well… sort of)

Here I was, all set for the SAT to take its final bow when, in a remarkable twist, it was announced that hundreds of testing centers would be closed and the January test postponed until Feb. 20th thanks to the blizzard about to descend on the east coast. Given that it was 60 degrees on Christmas Day in New York City and that this is the first real snowfall of the year, I can’t help but find this to be an bizarrely coincidental turn of events. It would seem that the...
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What is ETS’ role in the new SAT?

Update #2 (1/27/16): Based on the LinkedIn job notification I received yesterday, it seems that ETS will be responsible for overseeing essay grading on the new SAT. That’s actually a move away from Pearson, which has been grading the essays since 2005.  Not sure what to think of this. Maybe that’s the bone the College Board threw to ETS to compensate for having taken the actual test-writing away. Or maybe they’re just trying to distance themselves from Pearson.  Update: Hardly had I published this post when I discovered recent...
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For what it’s worth

For those of you who haven’t been following the College Board’s recent exploits, the company is in the process of staging a massive, national attempt to recapture market share from the ACT. Traditionally, a number of states, primarily in the Midwest and South, have required the ACT for graduation. Over the past several months, however, several states known for their longstanding relationships with the ACT have abruptly – and unexpectedly – announced that they will be dropping the ACT and mandating the redesigned SAT. The...
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Sleight of hand: an illustration of PSAT score inflation

A couple of posts back, I wrote about a recent Washington Post article in which a tutor named Ned Johnson pointed out that the College Board might be giving students an exaggeratedly rosy picture of their performance on the PSAT by creating two score percentiles: a “user” percentile based on the group of students who actually took the test; and a “national percentile” based on how the student would rank if every 11th (or 10th) grader in the United States took the test — a percentile...
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If you still haven’t received your PSAT scores…

Then apparently you’re not alone.  I was under the impression that all PSAT scores had been finally released on 1/7, at least until I happened to check Mercedes Schneider’s blog. Apparently, some students are still unable to access their scores (or at least they were as of 1/9). According to one Pennsylvania parent Schneider cites:   As of today, more than 24 hours after the scores were supposedly released yesterday, we are still unable to see them. I have been advised by a school counselor that this...
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Gosh, could the College Board be trying to inflate PSAT scores?

Apparently I’m not the only one who thinks the College Board might be trying to pull some sort of sleight-of-hand with scores for the new test.  In this Washington Post article about the (extremely delayed) release of 2015 PSAT scores, Ned Johnson of PrepMatters writes:  Here’s the most interesting point: College Board seems to be inflating the percentiles. Perhaps not technically changing the percentiles but effectively presenting a rosier picture by an interesting change to score reports. From the College Board website, there is this explanation...
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“The Ultimate Guide to SAT® Grammar Workbook,” 3rd Edition, is now available

The workbook for the The Ultimate Guide to SAT® Grammar, 3rd Edition, includes six full-length multiple-choice writing tests in redesigned SAT format. Passages are designed to reflect the content and level of the new SAT as a accurately as possible, and each passage is accompanied by 11 questions testing a variety of grammar, rhetoric, and graph-based questions. Thorough explanations reinforce the concepts and strategies presented in the grammar book and reiterate the patterns contained in the test. The book is available through the “Books” section of this website as well as through Amazon.
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