The Princeton Review Comments on the SAT Changes Announced by the College Board
on March 5
NATICK, MA, March 7 / PRNewswire/—Deborah Ellinger, CEO of The Princeton Review, offers the following statement regarding the College Board's March 5 announcement of its plans to redesign the SAT ®:
"I'm glad that the College Board has acknowledged the importance of prepping for the SAT, and I applaud Sal Khan, a former Princeton Review Teacher of the Year, for making test prep material available free through Khan Academy.
We believe all students should have access to test prep resources and coaching, which is why we work with schools and school districts across the country to ensure underserved students receive guidance and coaching not just on these tests, but on the additional challenges of finding the best fit college and securing financial aid. In fact, The Princeton Review serves more students through school districts and community programs than through our parent-paid courses. We have been working since the day we were founded to ensure equal access.
No standardized test is perfect, and the SAT in particular tends to be biased against women and various ethnic groups. I am very sorry to see the College Board has made optional the only section (essay) where women had better average scores that help offset part of the gender gap in the reading and math sections. We have to deal with this, though, because in spite of the SAT’s notable shortcomings, the reality is that most colleges use standardized tests for admissions decisions, and in many cases scholarships and other forms of financial aid are tied to test performance.
This is not the first time, nor do we expect it will be the last, that the College Board has changed the test. We support any effort to align the test more directly with what students are learning in school. A common refrain when these changes are announced is that they are being made because the old test was coachable, and that the new test will be better tied to curriculum and less coachable. We’ve never seen a test that wasn’t coachable.
The Princeton Review’s position about the SAT remains unchanged. We are not as concerned about the changes to the test as we are about students doing well on this high stakes exam. We will continue to teach our unique combination of test taking, problem solving, and methodology that helps maximize our students’ scores.
Ultimately, to put the whole matter into perspective, this is nothing more than a Coke versus Pepsi battle. In this case Pepsi (the ACT) has taken market leadership from Coke (the SAT), and Coke has responded. When viewed through that lens, these changes make a lot of business sense. From The Princeton Review’s point of view, the College Board has never designed a test that we couldn’t help students crack."