College Board: Free SAT prep available for redesigned, ‘skills-based’ test

Published: Jan. 30, 2020 at 5:15 PM CST
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Do you have a high school junior or senior taking the SAT this year? For the first, maybe second or third time?

No matter how many times your teenager has sat through this test, it can be intimidating.

The College Board’s “Suite of Assessments,” or SAT, was redesigned in 2016. Priscilla Rodriguez, the College Board’s vice president of college readiness assessments, says the goal is to better measure the skills and knowledge from curricula that students are already learning in schools.

“We really organized it around the standards that states and districts across the country use,” said Rodriguez on First News at Four.

However, Rodriguez says the most important part of the redesign is the partnership with the Khan Academy to create an entirely free-of-charge and personalized online study system.

“Gone are the days where unless your family had the resources to get you a private tutor or classes, you know, you kind of weren’t able to get that practice and preparation,” Rodriguez said. “This evens the playing field.”

College Board self-reports that more than 10 million people have used the online programs since its introduction in 2016. Furthermore, Rodriguez says that a “total of 6-8 hours, our research shows, is associated with a 90-point score improvement.”

Still, there are students who decline to take the test entirely, and these days, there are colleges that will admit them without those scores. Test-optional schools are becoming more and more popular.

Rodriguez, however, continues to encourage all students to take the SAT.

“These [test-optional] schools still accept SAT scores, and in practice, the vast majority of applicants still take these tests and submit them,” said Rodriguez. “SAT scores are used by many colleges for more than just admission: colleges will use them to place students in their freshman year classes, and they use them often to decide who gets scholarships from the college.”

For the full conversation with Rodriguez, see the video player above.