Conroe ISD students to see revamped SAT this spring

Conroe ISD students to see revamped SAT this spring

Starting this month, high school students who are signed up to take the SAT will be administered a revamped version of the college readiness assessment.

Changes to the exam, made by the nonprofit organization College Board, are geared more toward real-world problems students are likely
to encounter.

“I think it’s still going to be challenging,” said Debbie McNeely, Conroe ISD secondary language arts coordinator. “But I think it’s going to be more student-friendly.”

Conroe ISD students to see revamped SAT this springPreviously, SAT scores could reach 2,400 with separate sections for math, writing and reading, whereas the new scoring system will allow for
a high score of 1,600.

Students can earn up to 800 points in the math section and 800 points in the evidence-based reading and writing section.

“We redesigned the SAT to focus very clearly and specifically on those skills that are necessary for college readiness and success,” said Cyndie Schmeiser, College Board chief of assessment. “These are the skills that students are learning every day in the classroom, but we are focusing very clearly on really what matters.”

An optional essay section will add 50 minutes to the exam time and be scored separately. According to McNeely, the essay prompts will be the same for every city. However, reading materials will vary.

“That’s kind of a nice thing, so students know what to expect,” she said. “But they have to be able to be a close reader and be able to determine what the author has done as a writer in the piece.”

McNeely said although this portion of the SAT is not required, most colleges would still want to see an essay score.

“As we stepped back, we thought we needed to rethink assessment and not only help more kids become prepared for college or career, but we need to connect them with opportunities to help them navigate that pathway to college, which is not always a clear one,” Schmeiser said.

The new version of the SAT features eight changes, McNeely said, including the new scoring system.

“[Students are] going to have this beautiful growth measure to see how they’re progressing,” she said. “Is their performance on track to show college readiness? If not, what’s really cool about the new scoring system is they have the two big scores, then they start breaking it down. There’s a total of 12 different scores that you can look at.”

Students will be able to see specifically how they scored in the various math, science and social studies topics covered. Additionally, students will have four answer choices instead of five, and there will be no penalty for wrong answers. They will simply receive credit for correct answers only.

College Board has also redesigned how students prepare for the SAT. In addition to high school course curriculum, students were expected to buy additional SAT study materials or pay for preparatory classes. Now, College Board has partnered with nonprofit education organization Khan Academy to offer free study materials.

“Over three-quarters of a million kids have already gone into and have practiced with over 15 million problems,” Schmeiser said. “We are getting feedback from kids stating that the new test is more of a reflection of what they have learned in school. Frankly, they are finding the questions to be very clear and straightforward.”

Conroe ISD students to see revamped SAT this spring

By Beth Marshall
Born and raised in Montgomery County, Beth Marshall graduated from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015 with a bachelor's degree in communication and a minor in business. Originally hired as a reporter for The Woodlands edition in 2016, she became editor of the Sugar Land/Missouri City edition in October 2017.


The Texas Department of Transportation is planning to install medians along 5.8 miles of FM 1092 from Hwy. 59 to Hwy. 6 in Missouri City. (Courtesy Fotolia)
As FM 1092 median project goes out to bid, some Missouri City Council Members still object

Construction on the project to install medians on FM 1092—also known as Murphy Road—is expected to begin in the winter and last for seven months, according to officials with TxDOT.

At the Sept. 14 Harris County Commissioners Court meeting, County Administrator David Berry, top left, presents proposed tax rates to commissioners Jack Cagle and Tom Ramsey, Judge Lina Hidalgo, and commissioners Adrian Garcia and Rodney Ellis. (Emily Lincke/Community Impact Newspaper)
Harris County commissioners propose lower tax rates with split vote

While the proposed tax rate is lower than the current rate, tax payers may actually end up paying more since the values of homes statewide increased this year, according to County Administrator David Berry.

Harris County Precinct 4 and Montgomery County Precinct 3 are coordinating for a Gosling Road project. (Courtesy Montgomery County Precinct 3)
Montgomery County funds $4 million for Gosling Road project

The project will widen Gosling Road and a bridge over Spring Creek. It is anticipated to begin construction later this year.

Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough tours the COVID-19 antibody infusion center that opened Aug. 16.
(Courtesy Montgomery County Judge Mark Keough on Facebook)
Federal policy change reduces COVID-19 antibody treatment drugs coming to Montgomery County infusion center

A change in how the federal government distributes the monoclonal antibody treatment means a change for regional antibody centers administering treatments.

About 62% of Harris County residents ages 12 and older have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Harris County commissioners terminate $11 million Elevate Strategies vaccine outreach contract

“There’s absolutely nothing done here that was in any way deviating from the most adequate protocols, and what is sad … [is] that the COVID response is being politicized." -Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo

The 10,500-square-foot Dogtopia facility will span five open playrooms for dogs to enjoy. (Courtesy John Ledbetter)
Dogtopia opening day care facility for high-energy dogs on Durango Creek Drive

Owner John Ledbetter said the new Magnolia location will include five open playrooms for dogs.

Entergy Texas crews and contractors are working to restore power safely and quickly while following COVID-19 guidelines, according to a news release from Entergy Texas. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Here is when Entergy will restore power to Montgomery County customers following Tropical Storm Nicholas

Entergy says most customers to have power restored Sept. 14, with hardest-hit areas set to regain power by Sept. 15.

Montgomery County discussed coronavirus case counts during a Sept. 14 meeting. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
Montgomery County begins seeing slight downward trend from peak in coronavirus cases

While the trends are beginning to decline from the county's peak, ICU beds are noted to still be mostly full.

The Woodlands Township reported no damage to township properties, and no significant events occurred in The Woodlands due to Tropical Storm Nicholas. (Ben Thompson/Community Impact Newspaper)
The Woodlands solid waste services resume; COVID-19 testing closed due to Tropical Storm Nicholas

Curative COVID-19 testing sites and The Woodlands Express bus service are closed Sept. 14. Waste collection services, Town Center Trolleys and township facilities are operating.

Shelters around Houston opened to help those affected by Hurricane Nicholas on Sept. 14. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Shelters open to aid those affected by Hurricane Nicholas

Shelters have been opened by the American Red Cross to help those in need following the storm.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo said there are currently no reported injuries or fatalities from Tropical Storm Nicholas. (Screenshot courtesy Facebook)
Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo encourages residents to stay off roads, reports no fatalities due to Tropical Storm Nicholas

Hidalgo also said she expects all Harris County COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites to be open Sept. 15.

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County on Sept. 14 resumed limited services. (Courtesy Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County)
METRO operating on limited service in aftermath of Hurricane Nicholas

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County on Sept. 14 resumed limited services.