Editorial: College Board must initiate relationship with high schools

By The Pitt News Editorial Staff

The College Board is at it again, announcing that the current version of the SAT will soon cease to exist. The SAT will be updated in ways not yet specified, instilling widespread fear and confusion in high school students nationwide.

“We will develop an assessment that mirrors the work [the students] need to do to complete college,” wrote David Coleman, president of the College Board, in a letter to his colleagues.

The College Board is used to making changes to the defining component of a student’s college application. The last overhaul of the SAT added a writing section to the test in 2005, causing serious alterations for high school administrators, test preparation centers and students themselves.

From the announcement of a writing section to the end of the first administered test with said section, students were hardly prepared in terms of knowing what to expect. Evidently, test preparation centers and high school counselors gave as much insight as was available, still leaving the chance for unforeseen material on the test.

With this recent announcement citing the serious revamp of the aptitude test, concerns have been raised over what will be changed and if students will have the necessary time to prepare for those changes. Whether the change will include adding or eliminating a new section, changing scoring rubrics or even altering the way in which the test is offered is unknown.

In states such as Pennsylvania, students will be particularly affected by such updated policies. Pennsylvania is one of 23 states where students take the SAT more than the ACT. In 2012 alone, more than 100,000 students took the SAT, many of whom indicated a serious interest in attending Pitt, among other colleges.

What the College Board needs to begin to implement is a continued channel of communication and assistance to high schools across Pittsburgh, across Pennsylvania and across the nation to combat the confusion and lack of knowledge students have regarding the updated SAT. When the revised edition of the SAT is released, the College Board needs to ensure that high school preparation courses are braced for the changes and that teachers and parents have the right tools to prepare their students for the exam.

It is important that the College Board does everything in its power to give each student a fair shot at scoring the best they possibly can. Of course, many other factors go into ensuring students score their very best on the SAT, but the College Board should not shy away from exhausting every channel it has to prepare students for a test that holds such significance to the college admission process.