College Counselors Agree with New SAT…how could they not?

Matt Larriva
Sep 21, 2014
Home » Blog » College Counselors Agree with New SAT…how could they not?

A recent US News and World article came out with the findings that 79% of college admission officers surveyed agreed with the changes in the New SAT. Read the full article here.

My contention is this: the College Board introduced its changes under the auspices of “increased-equality” and “increased-access” how could a counselor dare disagree with changes under those banners?

I myself am an adamant opponent of the new SAT. View the response here. I feel their changes are flagrantly arbitrary, and that their intentions of creating a more equal test do nothing to address the cultural and income biases that the test is currently subject to.

Counselors were asked if they agreed with the inclusions of more challenging math questions–some of which do not allow calculators– and they responded favorably. This is somewhat innocuous. More challenging questions probably make counselors think that students will be forced to learn more math…of course this is false.

Counselors were also in favor of the removal of the 1/4 point deduction for wrong answers. This baffles me. This is the absolute most arbitrary of all the changes. It’s seems as though everyone has forgotten that the SAT is scaled and that if all students are not penalized for incorrect answers, then no students will feel the effects: all scores will adjust identically. For more on this, download our white paper on the quantitative differences between the SAT and the ACT.

Counselors were not asked the pertinent questions: what are students to do to prepare for a test that has near-non-existent prep materials available due to its newness? Do counselors think that there will be any mistakes made as the SAT switches to a wholly unproven test overnight? Do counselors think that it will be confusing to students to have to take the PSAT in the current SAT format while taking the SAT in the new format? Do counselors think that granting free-test vouchers to low-income students will really equalize the playing field when the free-test system has been around for decades?

But these questions were not answered. Instead, Kaplan, the survey’s conductor, soft-balled a series of boring and quotidian questions to which no counselor could disagree. Insidiously, US News and World has substantiated The Collegeboard in its New SAT without discussing any off the drawbacks.