The New York Times reports that the College Board will be dumbing down the SAT exam one more time.
The College Board [this week] release[d] many details of its revised SAT, including sample questions and explanations of the research, goals and specifications behind them.
â€œWe are committed to a clear and open SAT, and today is the first step in that commitment,â€ said Cyndie Schmeiser, the College Boardâ€™s chief of assessment, in a conference call on Monday, previewing the changes to be introduced in the spring of 2016.
She said the 211-page test specifications and supporting materials being shared publicly include â€œeverything a student needs to know to walk into that test and not be surprised.â€
One big change is in the vocabulary questions, which will no longer include obscure words. Instead, the focus will be on what the College Board calls â€œhigh utilityâ€ words that appear in many contexts, in many disciplines â€” often with shifting meanings â€” and they will be tested in context. For example, a question based on a passage about an artist who â€œvacatedâ€ from a tradition of landscape painting, asks whether it would be better to substitute the word â€œevacuated,â€ â€œdepartedâ€ or â€œretired,â€ or to leave the sentence unchanged. (The right answer is â€œdeparted.â€)