Ascending scale for new SAT?

Several weeks ago, we echoed The Economist in worrying that "the new SAT, with its writing requirement and junking of the analogy section, might signal a return back to something like the old WASPocracy, since it will reward students who have been rigorously coached in essay-writing" (see here). The returns are still early but we might have been right. Test prep companies report that their prot??g??s are very, very happy with results from the first offering of the newly revised SAT, which were released to test-takers this week. Paul Kanarek of Princeton Review told the newspaper Inside Higher Ed that "people are getting absurdly good results, much better than we predicted, especially on the writing test. . . . We had long suspected that the first example of the new test would be reasonably easy and that scoring was going to be generous, and it looks like that's what happened." The College Board scoffs, claiming that scale scores have remained stable from the last administration of the old test, and since no official figures are available yet no one has any way of judging. And, of course, it's possible that this reaction from test-prep companies is more in the nature of advertising than analysis. But that won't stop us from speculating!
"Generous curve?" by Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed, April 12, 2005.

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