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The nonprofit organization behind the SAT college entrance exam has teamed up with a California pioneer in online education. It wants to make test preparation materials available for free.
The move is aimed at making the college admissions race less stressful. It should also be more fair for students from poorer families.
The College Board gave unprecedented access to the revamped SAT it plans to introduce next spring to Khan Academy. Khan has developed diagnostic quizzes and interactive practice tests. They will be accessible to anyone with Internet access. Khan Academy is based in Mountain View, California. It is known for its free web-based library of instructional videos and academic exercises. Mountain View is in Silicon Valley.
College Board President David Coleman said the partnership aims to level the college admissions playing field. He said it will put high-quality training within easy reach of students without the funds for commercial test-prep services. Students can visit www.khanacademy.org/sat. There, they will find quizzes. The quizzes are based on the math and reading sections of the new SAT. It is scheduled to make its debut in March. There will also be full-length practice tests. They've been written by the College Board.
Questions test takers answer incorrectly will show the specific skills they need to improve. Step-by-step explanations will be offered for deriving the correct answer.
Nicole Hurd is the founder of a nonprofit called College Advising Corps. She said, "I think they are really trying to change this from test preparation to an educational opportunity."
"If a young person takes the SAT math section and they don't do well, instead of saying, 'Well, you don't do well,' it will push them back into the Khan curriculum. So they can get the math skills they need so they are SAT-ready," she said.
The redesigned SAT will be graded on a 1,600-point scale. That scale was last used in 2004. It will make the now-required essay section optional. Test-takers will no longer lose points for wrong answers.
Critical thinking challenge: How can Khan Academy reduce test-taking stress?