New SAT is "ludicrous," says college president

The new SAT looks a lot like the ACT.

- On Saturday, high school students across the country will sit down to take a revamped Scholastic Aptitude Test.

The new SAT (which looks a lot like the American College Testing exam) will, in most cases, give colleges a tool to help determine whether the student will be accepted to that institution of higher learning. But at Bard College in upstate New York, the SAT carries little weight.

“I think both of these tests are ludicrous. They don’t do anybody any good; not the taker, not the college. America is obsessed with these tests. The college rankings are partially to blame for this," said Bard College President. Dr. Leon Botstein.

So what’s wrong with the SAT and ACT?

“They’re dumb. They are useless. Doing well on a test has nothing to do with learning and nothing to do with being successful in life. It helps you get into college and nothing else," said Dr. Botstein.

But not everyone agrees with Botsein.

“When the colleges are seeing  applications from thousands of high schools , many that they don’t recognize, they need an objective way to compare students among each other," said Eric Greenberg, owner of an educational and tutoring service.

Here are the changes to the SAT:

1. A lot of rare vocabulary words that used to be on the test will not be there
2. Reverting back to the 200-800 scale for math and verbal sections
3. The essay is now optional

"The big picture is that the SAT is changing to look a lot more like the ACT. A lot of people in the field say it’s a response to the ACT getting more of the market share so it’s a business plan," said Greenberg.

Here are some sample SAT questions provided by The College Board, COLLEGEBOARD.ORG, Reproduced with permission:

Math (Calculator Permitted)
Questions 3-5
Question 6
Question 20

Math (Calculator Permitted)
Question 3

Questions 15-19

Writing and Language
Questions 1-11

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