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'Adversity Factor' Added For College Entrance Exam

Popularity 4Viewed 1288 times 2019-5-20 14:36 |System category:News

There are two entrance exams available to students who are seeking admission into American colleges. There is the SAT and the ACT. For international students, in addition, most will need to take either the TOEFL exam or the IELTS exam to assess English proficiency.

Last year, about 2.1 million students took the SAT while just over 1.9 million took the ACT. Nonetheless, the SAT has been the most well-known of the two exams for quite some time. 

A few years ago, the SAT scoring structure was changed and it now focuses on two subjects: English (reading and writing) and math.

This past week, the CollegeBoard, the organization that writes the SAT, announced an 'adversity factor' that will be added to the exam. Even though they are keeping secret how this factor is derived, they are saying that it assesses a student's academic environment. In essence, it is suppose to reveal how much adversity a student had to overcome in order to achieve whatever score they received on the exam.

This is a more subjective approach in determining the college readiness of students. Colleges and universities in America are becoming less and less dependent on exam scores while taking in consideration a student's holistic readiness for college. In a word, they are more interested in the 'person' rather than a score. As a result of this, they are becoming less dependent on exam scores.

I am very well aware of how the CollegeBoard works and am more well aware of how to prepare students to take the English portion of the exam. My two latest students who took it, scored 1540 and 1520 out of a possible 1600 for the exam.

I am also well aware of the many problems that the CollegeBoard and ETS (Educational Testing Services who actually administers the exam) have faced both in America and abroad. I'll follow up this blog with explaining certain aspects of how they operate.

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)




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Comment Comment (5 comments)

Reply Report GVTCC 2019-5-21 09:21
Very interesting and informative, can't wait to read the next part. By the way, "am more well aware of" could be "am better aware of"?
Reply Report SEARU 2019-5-21 21:39
GVTCC: Very interesting and informative, can't wait to read the next part. By the way, "am more well aware of" could be "am better aware of&qu ...
No, the original saying sounds pleasant to ears!
Reply Report kevinruud 2019-5-21 23:04
The US do not have any problems of college education that Chinese people have. Even now China is faced with the loss of students because some of them choose to study outside China, the expansion of colleges has resulted in the lower quality of education. Lastest news reports that even retired soldiers, new generation of farmers and jobless workers could be directly enrolled into vocational colleges, which will certainly worsen the scenario.
Reply Report BlondeAmber 2019-5-29 03:33
good to see you posting again.
Reply Report MichaelM 2019-6-6 04:12
BlondeAmber: good to see you posting again.
Thank you

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Michael is the author of the transformational book, Powerful Attitudes. He is a professional educator, an educational consultant, an author. He lives in Zhengzhou, Henan Province. He enjoys playing guitar and writing poetry. He loves China.


Recent comments

  • 5 Biggest Mistakes Parents Make In Their Child's English Education 2019-6-24 10:09

    Well said. Michael... and very true, as well.

  • What Americans Think 2019-6-24 03:50

    One question that I heard a lot when I first came here was, "When do you foreigners take a bath?" I was very puzzled by the question and wasn't sure if it was a serious question. My response was, "Well, I guess that we take a bath/shower when we feel that we need one." I learned later that they were looking for an answer like, 'in the morning' or, 'before we go to bed.' But, the truth is, I really don't have a clue what the hygiene habits of over 300 million people are.

    Another stereotype (that is wrong) that I hear here in China is, 'all Westerners go Dutch when eating out together.' Someone wrote a blog on here that stated this along with 'Westerners don't like to spend time with family and friends over meals like we Chinese do.' Again, another stereotype that is not just wrong, but, from experience, quite absurd. I've never 'gone Dutch' at a restaurant and I always have meals out with friends and family when I'm in the USA.  My mother had a friend once who insisted on 'going Dutch', but, she's the only one I ever heard of to practice this.

    I think that this question has something to do with this situation I often see in restaurants here in China when two people walk to the checkout counter to pay and get into a friendly scuffle over 'who's going to pay.' It seems like an attempt to show yourself more generous than others. Seems a bit silly to me, but, I accept that it is just a different culture. I must admit that I've often not only paid for everyone's meal in my party, but, I come from a small town in Texas. When I see other people that I know in a restaurant, I've often picked up and paid for their meals secretly. They usually don't discover that their meal was paid for until after I'm gone. I don't think that is common in Western culture, but, it is true for me.

    Oh, one last stereotype that seems to be believed about Westerners is that real life in America (especially) is mirrored by the television show, 'Desperate Housewives.' I really don't know what all the show depicts because I've never watched it and know little about it. But, what I've heard is that everyone is having sex with anyone and everyone every day. Of course, soap operas in any country, do not accurately depict real life. This seems like common sense to me. Seems a bit naive to believe that real people do the same as some fictional television show.

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