Students Anxious About Revamped SAT Tests - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News


Students Anxious About Revamped SAT Tests

At high schools in East Texas and across the nation, there is more than just a little concern about the new SAT test. The test that most students take to get into the college they want is changing.

In school or in life, everyone wants to be first most of the time. For the new SAT, few want to go first.

Teacher Angie Billings at Robert E. Lee High School in Tyler: "These kids, the juniors... it's the first time to take this particular test. They're guinea pigs."

Junior Drew White: "I guess it's kind of scary being the first one. There's lots of things you don't know about."

Kids know the format, but not much else. The Class of 2006 will be the first to take the new test. In the verbal section, critical reading and reasoning is in. Analogies, kids say an easier section, is out. In math: Algebra II is in. Quantitative comparisons, the math equivalent of analogies is out. And in the essay sections: students must formulate opinion on question and/or give personal reaction to a statement.

White: "You don't have the benefit of talking to people before to learn more tricks."

Junior Ashleigh Jameson: "I like writing, so it will help me more than hurt me on the new SAT in the essay."

The Writing section will join Reading and Math to make a new highest possible score. 800s on each would give you 2400.

Junior Benny Lu: "If you get a high score, you can get a scholarship. Some schools won't even accept you if you don't have a certain score."

Teacher Becky Martin: "The anxiety they're feeling is thought their anticipation. The fact that it's new makes it scary."

Some are scared. A few are excited, but most kids we spoke with are just a bit anxious, because it's the unknown.

Junior Rachel Morse: "I'll be nervous because I always get nervous before tests but this determines where you'll go to college, especially out of state."

The new test is given for the first time next month. One silver lining to this new test: teachers tell us students having taken the state-mandated TAKS test may have a leg up on kids elsewhere in the country.

The essay question format on the TAKS is very similar to the way the new questions will be asked on the SAT.

Reported by Morgan Palmer.

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