Wednesday, September 9, 2015

What's better: The ACT or SAT?

Think back to a memorable Saturday morning: You wake up early, somewhat refreshed from a dodgy night's sleep. You eat a decent breakfast, despite the fact that your stomach is roiling, and then you head off to school to take your SATs. Because there is nothing better than to spend four hours of your Saturday taking a test that you believe will decide your entire future.

I took the old SATs, and they were hard enough: Analogies and quantitative comparisons were the diciest parts for me. I often wonder if I would do better with the new version's writing section and corrections for grammar, but I am not sadistic enough to take the test again to find out.

The SAT has long been seen as a standard benchmark to evaluate how well high school students are being prepared for college. And if that is true, then we aren't doing so well. A recent article in The Washington Post examines how SAT scores are at their lowest level in a decade and that many students are abandoning the SATs for the ACTs instead.

This is an interesting history lesson, since the SATs are about to be revised again to make the writing section optional and contain fewer obscure vocabulary words. (Not even my spell check recognizes cacomistle, nor should it.) But the interesting question in the article remains the same: Is it the test that is the problem or the educational program preparing the students for higher learning?

Did you take the ACT or the SAT (and which version)? What was the worst part? Tell me in the comments.

No comments:

Post a Comment