New SAT questions released!

The College Board has announced more details about the SAT changes. Here’s an example question:

“The coming decades will likely see more intense clustering of jobs, innovation, and productivity in a smaller number of bigger cities and city-regions.”

The word “intense” most nearly means:

(A) emotional
(B) concentrated
(C) brilliant
(D) determined
(answer below)

What we love:

Rather than zoom in on esoteric vocabulary words, the SAT will require great depth of proficiency with more commonly used words and require more analysis. The use of calculator is reduced – students, this is to your advantage! Removing the ability to use a calculator means the test shifts back to testing the concept rather than a calculation. You use calculators and spreadsheets in real life, but you need to know the right question to ask / formula to input for the calculation to be meaningful.

“The calculator is a tool that students must use (or not use) judiciously,” the College Board said in a document explaining the changes to the test. The new exam focuses more tightly on algebra, problem solving, data analysis and “passport to advanced math,” which includes analyzing and solving quadratic and higher-order equations. The test also contains geometry and trigonometry.rules of divisibility

Admittedly, I’m super excited to see how this all plays out. The SAT has the opportunity to reassert itself as the preferred admission test.

What disappoints:

“Let me be clear — both the ACT and the SAT are achievement tests,” Cyndie Schmeiser, chief of assessment for the College Board, previously senior executive at the ACT.

So, rather than measure raw and developing abilities, we need to measure achievement – something that has been done, is complete? That sounds so final. Aren’t we just beginning as we head from High School to College? Perhaps we need another word. Achievement doesn’t appear to be the word they really mean.

Help the SAT replace the word Achievement in Scholastic Achievement Test. Make your suggestion below. Best suggestion will get sent to the College Board with credit to the author.


The answer is B.

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