Thursday, September 21, 2023

Test Time

I was set to roll my eyes about ANOTHER MEDIA PIECE OBSESSING ABOUT COLLEGE ADMISSIONS, but this is actually a good piece about the SATs changing to reduce time pressure on students.
Historically, the SAT gave students “too much to cover and not enough time to do it,” the College Board’s chief executive officer, David Coleman, told me. But developing a digital version gave them the opportunity to experiment. And the results were so impressive they decided to stick with them. Starting next year, the test is shorter overall, and most importantly, “on average, 97 percent of students complete all questions in a section with up to seven minutes to spare on each section,” Mr. Coleman said. “It’s time we stop confusing quick with smart.”
As a minor aside, this amused me:
On math tests, one of the few skills in which boys consistently outperform girls is mental rotation — turning 3-D shapes in their minds.
Not that I've taken such a test in a billion years, but all through my younger years I'd perform well on aptitude tests except the 3-D rotation ones which I'd totally bomb.

My test time story is about one of my grad student qualifying exams. The prof expected it to take 2 hours but it was untimed. He messed up one of the questions and it had several cases to solve instead of just a couple and it took us all about 7 hours.