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Many college entrance exams in the early s were specific to each school and required candidates to travel to the school to take the tests. The College Boarda consortium of colleges in the northeastern United States, was formed in to establish a nationally administered, uniform set of essay tests based on the curricula of the boarding schools that typically provided graduates to the colleges of the Ivy League and Seven Sistersamong others.
Terman in particular thought that such tests could identify an innate " intelligence quotient " IQ in a person. The results of an IQ test could then be used to find an elite group of students who would be given the chance to finish high school and go on to college.
The commission, headed by Carl Brighamargued that the test predicted success in higher education by identifying candidates primarily on the basis of intellectual promise rather than on specific accomplishment in high school subjects. Specifically, Conant wanted to find students, other than those from the traditional northeastern private schools, that could do well at Harvard.
The success of the scholarship program and the advent of World War II led to the end of the College Board essay exams and to the SAT being used as the only admissions test for College Board member colleges. Machine-based scoring of multiple-choice tests taken by pencil had made it possible to rapidly process the exams.
Bill produced an influx of millions of veterans into higher education. Brigham felt that the interests of a consolidated testing agency would be more aligned with sales how to write better essays for sat marketing than with research into the science of testing.
Although those taking the test came from a variety of backgrounds, approximately one third were from New YorkNew Jerseyor Pennsylvania. The majority of those taking the test were from private schools, academies, or endowed schools.
The test contained sections on English, FrenchGermanLatinGreekhistory, mathematics, chemistryand physics. The test was not multiple choice, but instead was evaluated based on essay responses as "excellent", "good", "doubtful", "poor" or "very poor".
It was administered to over 8, students at over test centers. Slightly over a quarter of males and females applied to Yale University and Smith College. This scale was effectively equivalent to a to scale, although students could score more than and less than Inthe number of sections was again reduced, this time to six.
These changes were designed in part to give test-takers more time per question. For these two years, all of the sections tested verbal ability: The verbal section of the test covered a more narrow range of content than its predecessors, examining only antonyms, double definitions somewhat similar to sentence completionsand paragraph reading.
Inanalogies were re-added. Between andstudents had between 80 and minutes to answer verbal questions over a third of which were on antonyms. The mathematics test introduced in contained free response questions to be answered in 80 minutes, and focused primarily on speed.
From tolike the and tests, the mathematics section was eliminated entirely. When the mathematics portion of the test was re-added init consisted of multiple choice questions. Although one test-taker could be compared to another for a given test date, comparisons from one year to another could not be made.
For example, a score of achieved on an SAT taken in one year could reflect a different ability level than a score of achieved in another year. Byit had become clear that setting the mean SAT score to every year was unfair to those students who happened to take the SAT with a group of higher average ability.
All SAT verbal sections after were equated to previous tests so that the same scores on different SATs would be comparable. Similarly, in June the SAT math section was equated to the April math section, which itself was linked to the SAT verbal section, and all SAT math sections after would be equated to previous tests.
From this point forward, SAT mean scores could change over time, depending on the average ability of the group taking the test compared to the roughly 10, students taking the SAT in April The and score scales would remain in use until Between andstudents were given 90 to minutes to complete to verbal questions.
Starting intime limits became more stable, and for 17 years, untilstudents had 75 minutes to answer 90 questions. Inquestions on data sufficiency were introduced to the mathematics section, and then replaced with quantitative comparisons in Inboth verbal and math sections were reduced from 75 minutes to 60 minutes each, with changes in test composition compensating for the decreased time.
In andSAT scores were standardized via test equatingand as a consequence, average verbal and math scores could vary from that time forward. However, starting in the mids and continuing until the early s, SAT scores declined:We Can Help You Get A Better Grade.
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September Remember the essays you had to write in high school? Topic sentence, introductory paragraph, supporting paragraphs, conclusion. The conclusion being, say, that Ahab in Moby Dick was a Christ-like figure. Oy.
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