The New York City Department of Education’s changes to the Specialized High Schools Admissions Test announced this week are a good thing because they undercut critics’ claims that the test’s results merely reflect the impact of expensive test prep, which not every family can afford. Certain material like scrambled paragraphs and logical reasoning are being eliminated. The redesign is intended to better reflect what is supposed to be taught in our city’s middle schools and elementary grades. Scrambled paragraphs, which have been on the test for 20 years, ask the test taker to put in proper order five sentences to create the strongest, most logical paragraph. This is difficult to do, and not taught in our schools. The new test will still remain challenging. For example, editing skills will now be tested. It also appears that the new test will also put greater emphasis on testing reading comprehension than the former test. Additional difficulty is also being added to the math section. While it remains mostly multiple choice, some math questions will require the test taker to fill in a correct answer, which is a form of question regarded by people who design tests as being harder to correctly answer… Read full this story
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