The messaging that surrounds standardized testing (e.g., that it is both necessary and beneficial) bombards our students in school and on their social media accounts. Parents are told that these tests will accurately measure a student’s knowledge, encourage them to work diligently, and hold schools accountable. Critics that challenge these aspects argue that these exams do nothing short of forcing students to memorize information rather than truly learning and understanding the material. A study led by former Dean of Admissions for Bates College, Wiliam Hiss, recorded graduation rates of students who completed standardized tests versus those who did not and the results showed that only 0.5% of a GPA point distinguished the test-takers from non-test-takers. This study points to the possibility that perhaps standardized tests really are just preparing students to be good standardized test takers.
The newly designed SAT was administered to American students in March and according to Reuters, some of these students have been sharing the details of the test questions and answers via online platforms. The new SAT is set to be administered May 7th to overseas students and at this point it is impossible to know which students have had access to test questions in advance.
The ACT Kaplan Online Prep Live program will offer study resources and assessments from ACT, real questions from the ACT test, and live and on demand videos accessible via mobile or desktop. The program will also include a social community providing support as well as frequently asked questions and answers for students and teachers.
Word is out on the effects of the program, including average score improvements, student engagement, and overall performance. The ACT has yet to announce an update on the results of the program: