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Re: [Phys-L] no more SAT optional essay and subject tests

Seem to recall that the idea was to test the verbal and math skills (or readiness) of students wanting to go to college. This originally was when it was no sure thing that you could get into a college/university, at least into the 'better' ones. I would think that the math part might still have some validity but the verbal skills on the test I took probably were too diverse to be necessarily useful. HOWEVER, if you are teaching or have taught in the last couple decades (or even farther back) you most likey found that the reading skills of your students were abysmal. In doing some 'coaching' for MCAT tests with senior Bio majors I found that their number one problem with the tests was being able to read FOR COMPREHENSION what was on the page. The one or two 'good' readers did fine, the rest not so much. Of course it also seems that we have pretty much given up on trying to get students to read textbooks and they pull out a calculator (phone) to do the simplest of numerical tasks and today's technology gives them the tools to do almost any level of math--if they understand how the math can be applied to the problem at hand.

So...if we abandon the need to read and the need to do any applied math, then there is no need for tests of those skills. Or maybe we should abandon testing all the tuition and get a degree. If you actually want to learn something you can be an intern or research assistant to a faculty member.

[I hang out with other retirees and hear the horror stories about what goes on in factories and other work environments away from our ivory towers and marvel that the country/economy can operate at all!]

Richard W. Tarara
Professor of Physics, emeritus
Saint Mary’s College
Notre Dame, Indiana

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-----Original Message-----
From: Phys-l <> On Behalf Of Anthony Lapinski
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2021 8:36 PM
To: Phys <>
Subject: Re: [Phys-L] no more SAT optional essay and subject tests

No more SATs? I agree! And ACTs, GREs, etc. I'm not sure what these really "test" and why they are still in use...

On Tue, Jan 19, 2021 at 8:29 PM John Denker via Phys-l <> wrote:

I quote from:

The SAT's optional essay and subject tests have been nixed by the
College Board, the latest step away from standardized testing in the
midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"As students and colleges adapt to new realities and changes to the
college admissions process, College Board is making sure our
programs adapt with them. We're making some changes to reduce
demands on students," the organization said in a statement.

IMHO they might as take the logical next step: No more SATs.
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