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Free SAT Test Prep Now Available for Michigan Students

PHOTO: Leveling the practice field, and the playing field, were some of the goals behind the redesigned SAT. Beginning today Michigan students will have access to free online test preparation. Photo courtesy J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.
PHOTO: Leveling the practice field, and the playing field, were some of the goals behind the redesigned SAT. Beginning today Michigan students will have access to free online test preparation. Photo courtesy J.A. and Kathryn Albertson Foundation.
June 2, 2015

LANSING, Mich. - Parents may recall the days of "cramming" to memorize obscure vocabulary words or taking expensive courses in preparation for the SAT exam.

Now, the test and the preparation process have undergone a major overhaul in an effort to better serve all students.

Cyndie Schmeiser, chief of assessment with the College Board, the organization that administers the SAT, says the test was redesigned to reflect what students are learning in today's classes, and what they need to know to be college-ready, rather than just providing a score.

"We will be translating that score into narrative descriptions of what it is that students can do, and what they need to work on next," she says. "It's intended to be forward-looking."

Starting in 2016, the SAT will be administered to all Michigan high school juniors in place of the ACT, free of charge. Students will still be able to pay to take the ACT outside of school hours.

Beginning Tuesday, all Michigan students will have access to online practice tests and materials for free, thanks to a new partnership with the Khan Academy.

Schmeiser says the redesigned SAT is just one piece of the puzzle in increasing college, career access and opportunity for low-income students, and other under-represented demographic groups in Michigan.

"It's helping to break down some of the financial barriers," says Schmeiser. "It's getting more opportunities for scholarships or fee waivers, or getting access to AP courses for students who are ready to profit from an AP course but just don't know how to navigate the system."

In addition to the free online test prep courses, the College Board is partnering with Boys and Girls Clubs of America and other community organizations to provide computers, Internet access, and in some areas safe places for kids to study.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MI