|By Kendra S on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 08:55 am: Edit|
I am a regular lurker on the Princeton Review discussion boards, and I noticed a thread there this morning in which a student claims to have received an e-mail from his/her counsellor saying that the Collegeboard is planning to terminate the Score Choice option for SAT IIs, although the counsellor was not sure when this would happen. There is nothing on the Collegeboard website to indicate this (not a surprise) -- has anyone here heard about this, know anything?
|By Dadster on Friday, February 15, 2002 - 09:04 am: Edit|
It seems like it would be more in keeping with CB's practices to raise the fee for this service, rather than eliminate it...
|By Kendra S on Tuesday, February 19, 2002 - 08:46 am: Edit|
I agree, the whole idea of Score Choice seems to me like a way to get more $$ since it means kids can take SAT IIs essentially risk free. That's why this surprised me. Any thoughts on why they don't do it for the SAT I?? is it b/c colleges would object, and are less likely to do so for SAT IIs since many (most) schools don't even require them?
|By Collegemom (Collegemom) on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 12:08 pm: Edit|
The end of score choice has just been confirmed in an article in today's news briefs from the Chronicle of Higher Education. Unfortunately it's not a publicly available link, but here is a link to the CB's own (well buried) summary of the issue at their site: http://www.collegeboard.com/sat/html/scorechoicesum.html (also see the current thread on the parents' board at PR)
Rather than helping to level the playing field for all students, and providing colleges with more complete information on each student, which are the rationale behind this change, I believe that it is only going to spur on the growth of an expanded test-prep industry that will benefit affluent students. Rather than going ahead and taking these subject tests in a relaxed way as they go through high school and using score choice, well counseled students will simply do whatever amount of prepping and practice testing they need until they feel they will score respectably on the real thing. The best counseled, best packaged kids will continue to be able to show their best possible scores to colleges (which is what colleges say is the kind of picking and choosing they want to eliminate), and I just don't see how this is going to really improve anything at all.
I also couldn't believe that the CB would really do this and give up this particular revenue stream. But I'm sure that they will find ways to make up for it, and selling more products to help kids prepare for the SAT IIs will certainly play into this in some way. There will now be much more pressure on kids to do whatever it takes to be maximally prepared to take these tests, and do well on the first attempt.
Also, I don't think it's fair for them to change this policy for kids who are current juniors--maybe even current sophomores for that matter. They should at least let current juniors get through next fall's testing before they do this. If they're going to make this change they should do it for kids who aren't yet in the system--incoming ninth graders next year, for example. (They say they will "grandfather" score choice for kids who take the test through this June, but haven't really decided when it will officially go into effect.)
|By Dave Berry on Thursday, February 21, 2002 - 03:35 pm: Edit|
The College Board mindset is insufferable. Here's an excerpt from the Chronicle article:
"The board, which owns the SAT and its advanced subject-based tests -- currently called the SAT II, but once known as "achievement" tests -- said it would eliminate the nine-year-old "score choice" policy because it encouraged "gamesmanship" and appeared to favor wealthy students with access to guidance counselors who know how to maneuver the system.
"Some counselors say they spend half their time strategizing when to use this and when not to use this," said Gretchen W. Rigol, vice president for special projects. "The people who were more likely to support score choice are from independent schools with very few students, where the counselors are really able to hand-hold their students through the process. The vast majority of students don't have that one-on-one contact."
Since when has CB ever been sensitive to gamesmanship? Through such exquisite maneuvers as recentering the SAT I, in cahoots with ETS, their partner-in-crime, CB has done nothing to mitigate the ever-rising hysteria of the elite admissions frenzy. Additionally, their PR approach appears to be buttressed around offering ever-evolving rationalizations as to why the SAT I is a good thing.
When Collegemom says, "...it is only going to spur on the growth of an expanded test-prep industry that will benefit affluent students," she hits the nail squarely on the head. Now that CB has "gone dot-com," offering a litany of fee-based college-prep services, like "EssayPrep," how long will it be before we see "SAT II Prep" featured prominently on their "News and Information" page?
BTW, hats off to Collegemom for finding the Score Choice news on the CB site. Although I consider myself to be a hardened veteran of site searching, I gave up trying to find the announcement on their site. I'm wondering why it's so deeply buried.
Granted, College Confidential also offers fee-based college-prep services. However, we don't pretend to be the paragon of wisdom regarding all matters of fairness and level playing fields. Memo to all college-knowledge cynics: Keep your eye on the little pea moving among the shells at College Board and ETS. Don't be surprised at what you may--or may not--soon see.
|By R Storm (Anonrs) on Monday, February 25, 2002 - 01:54 am: Edit|
I also appreciate collegemom finding the CB link and posting it. I've been trying ever since I saw the first "rumor post" to substantiate the news with an official notice on the CB website -- and I was getting absolutely nowhere, even typing in "eliminating score choice" (which is not that far off of the page headline) in the CB website search engine.
I agree that it is a hypocritical decision and that it will ultimately fuel and enrichen the coffers of the test prep industry, including the College Board -- there will be no subsequent "evening of the playing field".
As far as grandfathering score choice goes -- I think the implementation should exclude all current high schoolers; that is, if it is to be, institute the elimintaion of score choice with next year's incoming hs freshman class -- that's the minimum lead time that most high schools and colleges use for implementing major, non life-threatening, changes. (It's irrelevant to me that this issue has been under discussion at the College Board for a bit of time now -- discussion and implementation are very different things in my book.) I feel that my hs sophomore is more of a victim, rather than less of a victim, as a result of this upcoming change in policy. We have used score choice as a way to space out SAT IIs and to remove stress (via the timing and re-testing with no penalty options). As a potential foreign exchange student in his junior year (we'll find out if he's been selected by the end of March), Score Choice was to play a more important role in my current hs sophomore's college process (as both a planning tool AND as a stress-reliever) than it did for my now current college junior.
|By hoping to help on Tuesday, February 26, 2002 - 12:38 pm: Edit|
I wonder whether we can get our money back from the College Board (he he he). In the good old days of Score Choice, we encouraged our sophomore to sign up for some SAT IIs this June. "What have you got to lose?" we told her. "You'll get a chance to practice taking the test, and who knows, maybe you'll do really well on one of them and be able to use it, which means you'll have one test out of the way." This was based on our experience with our son, who bounced back and forth between the Math IC and IIC until he got a score he wanted to send in. ;-) (Was that "gamesmanship"??? Just seemed like a chance to get used to taking the test and then show his best stuff.) As for our daughter, now I'm not sure it is wise for a sophomore to take the test and put a blotch on her record. I am going to send an email to the College Board pointing out that she already signed up for Score Choice on the June test and it would be unethical for them to handle her scores in any other way. Will let you know what I hear back.
|By Rhonda on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 11:25 am: Edit|
I believe that the Chronicle of Higher Ed article said they would keep SC through June.
|By hoping to help on Thursday, February 28, 2002 - 10:36 pm: Edit|
Here is the reply I got from the College Board. I would certainly not call it definitive.
"Thank you for contacting us through collegeboard.com.
We are unsure of the details of when the change to score choice will be
become policy. At this time it appears that any student who has selected
score choice will be able to use that service."
|By Kendra S. on Thursday, March 07, 2002 - 10:32 am: Edit|
New info on collegeboard.com says SC will be eliminated in "fall 2002 or 2003." How helpful for current sophs/juniors!! On the collegeboard.com main page, scroll down to the bottom and click on the link where it says SC to be eliminated, and you'll get to a short statement .
|By Rita on Tuesday, May 07, 2002 - 11:42 am: Edit|
I get to write an article on this lovely topic for journalism class!
|By R Storm (Anonrs) on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 03:00 am: Edit|
Kendra: any info on where we can vote? With a current soph, I'd defintely vote for Fall 2003.
My cynical nature says that the collegeboard's new waffling -- I thought Fall '02 was a definite go -- is due to the BIG bucks that they are reaping from an increase in the score choice sign-ups this spring. Despite their earlier holier-than-thou posturing, they don't want let *their* cash cow out of the pasture.
|By R Storm (Anonrs) on Wednesday, May 08, 2002 - 07:07 pm: Edit|
Kendra -- I didn't actually check the collegeboard mainpage before responding to your 5/7 post last night (and though my post date says 5/8, it was still 5/7 here on the west coast). But, I did check today and the collegeboard mainpage says "Fall 2002" for the end of score choice and links to the orginal March release justifying their decision. Any idea how long the message you saw on 5/7 was on their site? I wonder if the UCs got wind of the date waffling and applied some pressure?
|By Kendra S. on Thursday, May 09, 2002 - 09:31 am: Edit|
My post was from MARCH 7, not May 7, which was around the time the final score choice decision was made -- that's when they said that June 2002 would be the last date SC would be available.
|By R Storm (Anonrs) on Monday, May 13, 2002 - 07:55 pm: Edit|
time to get my glasses checked! (I think with my May 7 late night post I zeroed in on the fact that the thread had been bumped up and then noted the "7" in both Kendra's and Rita's posts but only noted the "May" in Rita's).
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