Rhode Island Monthly Higher Learning 2016 : Page 9

more on Algebra One and Algebra Two, and reduce geometry questions to a mere 10 percent. Linear equations, scattergrams, statistics, trigonometry and data interpretation will also play an increased role in the new math section. For students who have not covered this material in school, Khan Academy classes or working with a tutor can help bridge the gaps. When asked about the effectiveness of the SAT changes, Bob Schaeffer, public education director for FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, says, “The SAT will remain a weak predictor of undergraduate success.” He goes on to say that, “high school grades will continue to forecast students’ graduation chances more accurately. The exam will still under-predict the performance of females, students whose home language is not English and older applicants. Well-to-do families will not stop buying their children test prep steroids from $1,200 intensive workshops and $500 per-hour tutors. SAT scores will remain a better measure of family income than of college readiness.” AltErnAtivEs for tEst-AvErsE studEnts ExpErts WEigh in Matt Widmer of Waypoints has been preparing students for the SAT and ACT for twenty years. He says, “The evidence-based and analytical skills in the new SAT are not always emphasized in classrooms. It will be interesting to see if schools change their teaching methods to adapt to the new SAT demands.” Asked which students he felt would do well on the new SAT, Widmer responds, “Students who are strong in mental math and can do problems without a calculator will have an edge, but really we won’t know what types of students the test is best suited for until we can analyze a few test results, and that will be this summer or next fall at the earliest.” If your student does not do well on standardized tests, it’s important to know that there are options. Fairtest currently has more than 800 colleges in the United States that offer test-optional policies. Prestigious members include many of the elite liberal arts colleges in New England, like Bowdoin, Middlebury and Wesleyan. Recently, larger universities like DePaul and George Washington have also joined the movement to stop requiring SAT or ACT scores for admission. So, while taking SATs and ACTs still offers students the broadest range of choices, there are ways around low scores. Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed., is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC, which provides strategic college counseling, SAT prep and athletic recruiting services. DIGITAL In love with great food? We are too! Get the latest on the local food scene every month in your inbox. SAVINGS FOR A SNOWY DAY Student loan refinancing solutions with rates as low as 4.24% apr . No upfront fees. Save up to thousands in finance charges. More information at www.risla.com/refinance. FOR THE LATEST ON RHODE ISLAND’S RESTAURANT SCENE, SIGN UP FOR OUR DISH NEWSLETTER AT RIMONTHLY.COM. your ga tew ay to su ccess RHODE ISL AND MONTHLY I higher le arning I 2016 9

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