As a part of the news release, the VP of a popular test prep company was quoted saying that demand for prep always increases when testing companies announce changes to the tests. This was an interesting comment to me. Obviously, many people hire test prep tutors and coaches because they are afraid. As I discussed in a previous post, facing the unknown can trigger fear. Combine an already-stress-inducing process with an extra element of unknown, and you can see the logic in the VP's statement. But, the statement bothered me. Shouldn't we, as a community of test prep coaches and companies, be communicating to students and families that we are here to help? Shouldn't the point be that we are part of a larger community that is pro-student not pro-fear and that this doesn't change regardless of what form the test takes?
In general, I believe in the power of positivity. I believe that this process needn't be dreadful—it can be joyful. Joyful...
... because you are working towards a goal that you are excited about.
... because you have resources available to help you along your way.
... because you know you are putting forth your best efforts.
... because one day you will be admitted to a college, and based on retention rates there's a very good chance you will be happy at that college (the vast majority of college students do not transfer after their first year).
Regardless of what The College Board does or does not include on the SAT, be pro-you.
Side Note: Dan Porterfield—once my professor at Georgetown (also the Vice President of Student Affairs at the time), now the president of Franklin and Marshall College, and one of the nicest, most supportive, most pro-student people, I know—has joined the board at The College Board. You can read his thoughts on the New SAT at Forbes.com.
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