instead of alleviating aspects of educational inequality, dumbing down the vocabulary actually makes things worse. College essays are serious business and should be taken seriously each time you sit down to begin the process of writing one. The actual content of the essays was entirely irrelevant. Its also important to acknowledge that the Common Core arose in response to real problems. Lets face it: for the vast majority of people, Algebra 2 is a painful slog through concepts they will never use again. Is There Anything Good About the New SAT? In practice, however, vocabulary questions were among the best indicators of who would do well in college. Even so, the new SAT is much more deserving of the scorn it will receive than its predecessors were.
Tests that measure those fundamental skills are legitimate parts of the college admissions process. Weve all known people who struggled in the compliance/conformist approach typical of many high schools only to blossom in college when they finally get to shape their own experience. But does aligning the test with high school curricula tend to level the playing field or reinforce the pre-existing tilt of that playing field? In the past, the SAT was designed to be an alternative, to measure things that werent usually tested in high school.
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Its at least arguable that the skills required in college are different, or at least that they should. The five-paragraph structure, which includes a thesis at the end of the first paragraph, and a concluding paragraph which starts with In conclusion are two of the most common moves in evidence. Historically, one of the biggest struggles of the first-year writing students Ive worked with is their adherence to the rules of writing theyve either been explicitly taught or implicitly internalized. To answer that question, lets take a look at the important changes to the SAT and see whom it will reward and punish. You dont necessarily have to go for the joke, especially if the joke isnt necessarily there. You can see this in the elimination of the much-hated wrong-answer penalty, the way percentiles are calculated and new yet confusing tables comparing ACT and SAT scores. The number of schools requiring the essay portion of these exams is rapidly dwindling, hopefully heading for zero if we have any luck at all. To function in society, you probably should have at least some understanding of averages, percentages, ratios and many other concepts, but the equation of a parabola probably doesnt belong on that list. It would be unfair to make college admissions dependent on skills that were totally unrelated to high school classes.
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