Khan Academy has teamed up with the College Board (creators of the SAT) to create personalized SAT practice for anyone, anywhere.
In March 2016, the SAT is changing and now students can prepare for the new test on Khan Academy—for free.
Khan Academy gives students personalized practice recommendations and instant feedback on how they’re doing. If they’re curious, we also have a short video about the new SAT to help them get to know how the test is changing.
- 4 official full-length practice tests, plus study and test-taking tips
- 8 diagnostic quizzes to pinpoint your areas for practice
- Thousands of practice questions, video lessons, and hints
- Get constant feedback and progress so you know where you stand
When I had first seen the College Board and Khan Academy announcement that they were forming a new partnership, I liked that the free test preparation is being offered in conjunction with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America. I think that is also important in giving access to the resources for students who might need more support or access to the Internet or computers.
It is not a revolutionary approach to use diagnostic tests to determine skill level in each section of the SAT, and then direct students to different lessons that review fundamentals a student might have previously missed in school. When I was tutoring high school students 1:1 or in a small group for the SAT 35 years ago, I did the same thing using books, paper and pencil, When CD-ROMs became the way to review for the test, it added the computer's ability (a bit crudely) to send students to the types of questions they were getting wrong. Drill and practice.
The next phase was to move that online, and the computing power increased dramatically. So did some of the predictive ability of the program to monitor student weaknesses. Khan's service also takes in data from students’ PSAT and SAT scores and tailors the tools offered to teach skills students may have missed on the assessments and prepare them for the next round of testing.
David Coleman, CEO and president of College Board, is also looking for some positive PR for the test. The approach here is to try to ensure that students will not only be more prepared for taking the SAT but for college in general. That latter goal (also echoed in the Common Core State Standards that Coleman helped build) is one that has not been associated with the SAT in recent years.
The SAT has been more on the defensive recently with many admissions officers at colleges saying that high school grades are a better indicator of a student’s success in college. The ACT has also risen in popularity as an alternative to the SAT.
“Our aim is to level the college assessment practice field,” Coleman said in a presentation, and Salman Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy, said his team had access to the new SAT design and were able to tailor their tools to best help students succeed while preparing for the test.
I hope the partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America is only the first of more connections they make. I don't view it as a negative on schools that more "schooling" is occurring outside the traditional classroom, but as a positive that more resources are being offered to supplement what is being done in classrooms.
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