societal impact of New SAT?
Feb 22, 2005 at 3:19 PM Post #31 of 53

thrawn86

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writing, bleh. By all accounts, I'm a good writer, but I fail to see what testing the majority will do. Most people are bad writers. most people don't care. period.

this test is designed to spotlight the kids who are smarter than the rest. Please tell me how testing kids in writing will somehow make the ones who suck at it better.

anyways...where I come from its almost unheard of to take the SAT. It's all about the ACT over here.
 
Feb 22, 2005 at 3:44 PM Post #32 of 53

djgustashaw

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Quote:

In this day and age, a person's math skill is obsolete, calculators and computers do all the work anyway.


Wow. That's HARDLY true. I'll agree that there are computer programs that can do virtually anything (my Calc 2 professor is a big fan of Mathematica), but if you've ever taken an upper-level math course you'll know that you absolutely need to UNDERSTAND the material and how it really works to take advantage of all these new tools. Math is not as cut-and-dry as everyone thinks it is; there's not always a "magical formula" to figure out what you need. There is a lot of human reasoning and intuition involved in upper-level maths.
 
Feb 22, 2005 at 3:46 PM Post #33 of 53

NeoPoe

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With how destitute reading and writing seem to be, I'm more worried about how the general public's attitude will change towards writing. For example, most people have the general assumption that a high SAT or ACT score must equate to a large intellect, and that low scores mean the exact opposite. Although there's merit to the claims, it's shifted the psyche to where there's no exception... What if that happens with writing? What if people start to feel that a high Writing score must mean that one is an excellent writer? And that a low writing score means that one simply can't cut it? That kind of prejudice (and the ensuing discrimination) would just hurt the status of writing and reading even more.

Most people grow out of that shell in the long run, but if you introduce a new way to meassure scholastic achievement into a system that may have extremely low levels, the results will become skewed and misleading.
 
Feb 22, 2005 at 3:50 PM Post #34 of 53

viator122

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Quote:

Originally Posted by saint.panda
I don't understand why American universities put so much emphasis on the SAT. In my opinion AP exams are much more meaningful.


Well the AP exams are taken by only the brightest high school students, and not every school offers them. Among the schools that do offer them, there is great variation in the number offered and subject matter.

Like most other people, I think the inclusion of a writing section is a great idea. I believe that the ability to write a clear and persuasive essay/paper/thesis is one of the marks of a good education. I think that colleges and universities allow students to take curricula that permit them to skirt courses which would force them to sharpen these skills.

For example, several of my roommates in college were very smart business students. They got good grades, but all of their courses were finance, accounting, etc. Occasionally they would take a non-business elective and when they did, they would search for courses that did not have paper requirements. When they did have to write papers, they would ask me to read them over. They had grammar, sentence structure, and overall argument structure skills that were not on par with their intelligence or education. They managed to go 4 years in college without being forced to learn how to write an argumentative essay or have someone mark their work for grammar and just plain good writing.

I hope that this new change in the SAT will bring about a stronger emphasis on making all students learn how to write well in college.

As for how the inclusion of a writing sample is discriminatory against asians, I don't understand, how does it discriminate against asians more than against hispanics or any other non-native English speakers? I don't think it is dicriminatory at all. University level education in the U.S. is conducted in English and there is no reason why mastery of the written language should not be held in as high regard as math when considering applicants for admission.
 
Feb 22, 2005 at 8:37 PM Post #35 of 53

Bunnyears

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I really don't see the need for SAT 1s anyway. The SAT 2s or subject tests give a lot more information to the colleges than the SAT 1s, which purport to be aptitude tests that you cannot study for. I was always told that the SAT 1 and 2s (originally called Scholastic Aptitude Test and Achievement Tests, now SAT 2 or whatever) were designed so that admission committees could judge the value of grades from various schools. Obviously, there will be a wide variation between schools in subject matter covered and the value of the grade. In some schools, students get A's in English and can hardly structure a paragraph. In other schools, a student will get a B when his work is extremely sophisticated. Thus, admissions committees need objective assessments of a student's academic accomplishment. That means that the subject tests should be a much better predictor of academic success than any aptitude test. Obviously, students in AP courses score much higher in these tests than students in courses with less demanding curriculums, and this is as it should be.
 
Feb 22, 2005 at 9:14 PM Post #36 of 53

Jahn

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is the writing portion hand-written? because penmanship is important too. in this age of computers, kids have crazy bad handwriting, as they usually type everything these days.
 
Feb 23, 2005 at 12:09 AM Post #37 of 53

Edwood

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Sign of the times.

The art of bullsh*tting is important if you want to exceed success these days.
rolleyes.gif


-Ed
 
Feb 23, 2005 at 12:16 AM Post #38 of 53

usc goose

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I'm pretty sure that having good bullsh*t skills has been an integral part of being successful since way back when. It's a beautiful thing, good bullsh*t.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Edwood
Sign of the times.

The art of bullsh*tting is important if you want to exceed success these days.
rolleyes.gif


-Ed



 
Feb 23, 2005 at 12:43 AM Post #39 of 53

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It can sort of be seen as an attack on asians just because most asians I know are good in math and average/below average in english including me. Now is double the amount of english than the amount of math. I was in the Princeton Review SAT class for the new one and I average around 700 for math and around 600 for reading and writing. I'm going to be taking the first New SAT in March.
 
Feb 23, 2005 at 1:33 AM Post #40 of 53

viator122

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Are you talking about asian-americans who speak English as a second language? You're saying that math is a universal while English skills are dependent on speaking English as your native language? If that's what you're saying, then, again, the SAT discriminates no more against asians than anyone who doesn't speak English as their first language.

If you're saying that asians are genetically predisposed to having good math skills but poorer language skills then the rest of the population, I would disagree emphatically. However, you might make the argument that asian people stress the importance of the hard sciences and business classes over humanities/social sciences, that I might buy.

Either way, it doesn't discriminate, the test will now evaluate a student's ability to succeed in any class in an American university setting. If you're applying to an engineering program or a business program, there are SATII tests which would demonstrate your talent in those specific areas. The SAT is a general test of your aptitude for college, and writing skills are part of that aptitude, IMO.
 
Feb 23, 2005 at 2:12 AM Post #41 of 53

blip

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To me saying that this is targeted at Asians is pure racism. But that's just me.

(Think of the implied converse statement: Non-Asians are better at English / writting than Asians. See that sounds VERY racist but it is more or less contained in the first statement.)

Anyway, the real reason behind the inclusion of the writting in the SAT (at least according to a few profs I've talked with about it) is because of the declining value in using entrance essays in applications. These days there are literally hundreds of consultants etc. that will write (or substansively edit) college application essays. In addition, often parents will write essays for their children or call on other resources to improve them. This problem is made even worse by the amount of information available to writers about what colleges look for.

What this means is that a student can submit a stellar essay and be totally incapable of written communication. Thus there has been a growing sense that a new, standardized exam needs to be put into place which will, theoretically, be more reliable than the current system.

It is just another step in what amounts to an arms war between admission departments and students. Even the old SAT has been severely weakened by the steady increase of prep books and prep-classes. Believe me, anyone can get a perfect score on the SAT if they have enough time, determination and money. (And most of what they learn to do it will be totally meaningless in the real world) Not to say that the SAT is a bad thing, it is much better than having nothing quasi-objective to go on.

If you ask me, the only way to stop the arms race is by creating a completely new test (different testing methodology, division, weighting etc.) every 2-3 years. But the cost and complexity of that would be incredible.
 
Feb 23, 2005 at 2:47 AM Post #42 of 53

SoujiroSeta

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I don't really see it as racist against asians, but I just thought of a way that it can be seen as an attack by some people. I guess this change is good. I keep hearing from everyone how important writing is. I guess it's good that it's being tested. But for me, personally, I'm better at math than english so there's double the amount of english than math for me.
 
Feb 23, 2005 at 3:54 AM Post #43 of 53

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For those that are confused. SAT II writing (Which is now part of SAT I writing), is not about the "writing" most of us are speaking about. Its purely about grammar.

To be blunt. Idiots can't do math and idiots can't compose an essay. But a properly trained idiot can do grammar. Grammar is simply a set of memorized sequences and rules. Is someone going to win the next nobel prize in grammar? Do people even major in grammar?

Unfortunately, not every student has had the opportunity to learn and memorize these rules. Many multi-lingual people such as myself, order words in many ways. Once you know how to communicate by multiple languages, standard english wording is not the law, nor is it optimal.

If you have visited berkeley, or ucla anytime recently. You know there is a serious over-population issue with asians and indians. Same goes for many other top-tier schools that "do not discriminate" based on race.

As a result they have had to come up with a system to reduce the asian enrollment.

Taking away math and picking away at grammar looks like a simple solution to me.

dan
 
Feb 23, 2005 at 4:04 AM Post #44 of 53

ls20

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Scopip
For those that are confused. SAT II writing (Which is now part of SAT I writing), is not about the "writing" most of us are speaking about. Its purely about grammar.

To be blunt. Idiots can't do math and idiots can't compose an essay. But a properly trained idiot can do grammar. Grammar is simply a set of memorized sequences and rules. Is someone going to win the next nobel prize in grammar? Do people even major in grammar?

Unfortunately, not every student has had the opportunity to learn and memorize these rules. Many multi-lingual people such as myself, order words in many ways. Once you know how to communicate by multiple languages, standard english wording is not the law, nor is it optimal.

If you have visited berkeley, or ucla anytime recently. You know there is a serious over-population issue with asians and indians. Same goes for many other top-tier schools that "do not discriminate" based on race.

As a result they have had to come up with a system to reduce the asian enrollment.

Taking away math and picking away at grammar looks like a simple solution to me.

dan



I don't even know how to start deconstructing all of this hogwash. Thanks for the laughter, though.
 
Feb 23, 2005 at 4:16 AM Post #45 of 53

EyeAmEye

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Quote:

Originally Posted by djgustashaw
Wow. That's HARDLY true. I'll agree that there are computer programs that can do virtually anything (my Calc 2 professor is a big fan of Mathematica), but if you've ever taken an upper-level math course you'll know that you absolutely need to UNDERSTAND the material and how it really works to take advantage of all these new tools. Math is not as cut-and-dry as everyone thinks it is; there's not always a "magical formula" to figure out what you need. There is a lot of human reasoning and intuition involved in upper-level maths.



You are correct. I wasn't referring to the miniscule number (by comparison) of college bound students who will enroll in higher mathematics courses. The mass majority of college bound students will never need math skills beyond simple mathematics, but all students need proficient communication skills.

I was just making suggestions to better the SAT. I personally believe it's crap. Truth be told, there is no such test to gauge a students aptitude. You really want to fix education? Make the courses harder on a high school level, and weed out the best. As it stands now, a well trained monkey could average 85 in high school, and possibly score a 900 on the SAT.
 

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