Notes in the Margins: The SAT overhaul, sports recruiting and UK undergrad research

SAT to drop essay requirement and return to top score of 1600 in redesign of admission test Skeptics questioned whether a new format will be any more successful than previous efforts to use the standardized test in a campaign for college access, in part because the test’s scores historically have correlated with family income. They also point out that the 88-year-old SAT in recent years has slipped behind the rival ACT — a shorter exam with an optional essay — in total student customers. (The Washington Post)

The Story Behind the SAT Overhaul Students despised the SAT not just because of the intense anxiety it caused — it was one of the biggest barriers to entry to the colleges they dreamed of attending — but also because they didn’t know what to expect from the exam and felt that it played clever tricks, asking the kinds of questions they rarely encountered in their high-school courses. (The New York Times)

The key problem the SAT changes won’t fix The changes won’t take away from the fact that no single standardized test score should be used for a high-stakes decisions involving young students — not for student promotion from grade to grade, high school graduation, etc. Some kids are simply better taking tests than others, some kids are sick when they take them, and historically, the scores are as reflective of the socio-economic divide in the country than they are of anything. Kids who live in poverty do worse than kids who don’t. (The Washington Post)

Another Sign College Sports Continue to Spin Out of Control Recruiting middle school kids is increasingly common at the highest levels of college sports. And this phenomenon isn’t just limited to men’s football and basketball. (The Huffington Post)

Research to start on day one of degree course UCL’s Michael Arthur plans to inject research element into all undergraduate courses (Times Higher Education)