新全讯网566766

新全讯网566766

2017-05-23 08:42 新全讯网566766 编辑:朱晓明 大字

新全讯网566766

The new SAT will soon arrive on a wave of bold promises. The College Board has said its redesigned admission test would contain “no more mysteries.” Instead of being a riddle to solve, it would correspond with high-school curriculums and better reflect what students have learned.

伴随着一波大胆的承诺,新版SAT即将面世。美国大学理事会(College Board)宣称,这一重新设计的入学测试将“不再神秘”。SAT将不再令人困惑猜疑,相反,它将与高中课程密切相关,从而更好地成为学生所学知识的真实反映。

The pitch sounds good. But is it true?

这个说法听起来不错,但实际情况是否如此?

In the spirit of good prep, let’s review what we know so far. The new SAT, which debuts in March, will look a lot different from the current version. Instead of three sections, there will be two: Math and Evidence-Based Reading and Writing. Each will be scored on a 200-to-800 scale. There will no longer be a penalty for guessing, and the odds will be better (the number of possible answers will decrease from 5 to 4). The now-required essay will be optional.

本着不打无准备之仗的精神,让我们来回顾一下,迄今为止我们对新版SAT都有什么了解。新版SAT将在2016年3月开始实施。它与目前的版本大不相同。考试从三部分转为两部分:数学、基于证据的阅读与写作。每一部分的分值为200-800分。猜测错误的答案不再有倒扣分,猜测正确的概率也会比过去更高(每道题的选项从5个降到了4个)。作文在现在的版本中属于必答部分,在新版则会变成可选部分。

As for content, the revamped test draws heavily from the Common Core — math and reading benchmarks adopted by most states. Those standards emphasize evidence-based interpretations of texts, vocabulary used in college and careers, and depth-over-breadth math skills. And yes, although the exam will not be the mirror image of the ACT, the two are about to become much more similar.

改革后的SAT考试大量借鉴美国共同核心课程标准(common core)——美国大多数州都已经采用这一数学和阅读的教学标准。这个标准强调基于证据的文章解读、大学里和职场中所常用的词汇、以及注重深度而非广度的数学技能训练。没错,虽然新版SAT尚不至于和ACT考试如出一辙,但是这两个考试的确会变得更加相似。

The changes get mixed reviews. Some testing experts who’ve studied the College Board’s sample questions describe them as more relevant and less gimmicky. Others foresee problems, especially for those who struggle with reading.

公众对这次的SAT改革评价不一。一些研究过美国大学理事会样题的业内专家表示,这些考题更加贴近学习内容,取巧的可能较小。也有些专家表示担心,认为阅读能力较差的学生尤其可能会遇到一些问题。

“The new SAT will align better with what kids are learning in school,” said Ned Johnson, founder of PrepMatters, a test-preparation service in Bethesda, Md., and co-author of “Conquering the SAT.” “But if you haven’t gone to a school that’s prepared you well, the test isn’t going to serve you well.”

PrepMatters的创始人内德·约翰逊(Ned Johnson)指出:“新版SAT更加贴近于孩子们在学校里学习的内容。”PrepMatters是一家位于马里兰州贝塞斯达市(Bethesda, Md.)的备考服务公司。约翰逊也是《攻克SAT》(Conquering the SAT)一书的合著作者。他说:“可是,如果学校没有把你教好,那么这个新版考试对你则不会有什么帮助。”

Although the SAT is evolving, not all of its stripes are changing. Test-taking savvy is still going to make a big difference when students pick up those No. 2 pencils. So let’s take a closer look at some of the changes — and why they matter.

尽管SAT有诸多变化,新旧版本并非全然不同。当孩子们拿起2号铅笔准备考试的时候,考前的充分准备依然会起到很大的作用。因此,让我们再一起仔细研究一下,新版SAT都做了哪些改变,以及这些改变为何重要。

First, the reading section won’t be so “recondite,” because obscure words like that are disappearing. The test will no longer ask students to complete sentences. Now they will have to derive the meaning of widely used words based on context. Test takers should expect to see words that can be used in different ways (“measured,” “disposed”). Instead of recalling a definition from vocabulary flash cards, they’ll have to read prose passages carefully to choose an answer.

首先,阅读部分不会再像以前那样“深奥晦涩”(recondite)。考试中不再会有诸如像“recondite”那样的生僻词汇,简单的选词填空这一题型也已被取消。现在,学生们需要根据上下文找出常用词的正确含义。考题里会考察的词语通常在不同语境下会有不同的意思(比如“measured”词义有测量的、有板有眼的、小心谨慎的等等;“disposed”词义有丢弃的、有[某种]偏好等等)。简单地记忆单词卡上的定义是不够的,考生们必须仔细阅读文章段落才能选出正确答案。

How should students prepare? By reading often and diving into various kinds of texts, especially nonfiction, tutors say. That’s more a long-term strategy than a quick test-prep trick. Habitual reading can also help on the writing section, which will demand prolonged concentration. To answer questions about grammar, punctuation and usage, students will have to wade through extended passages relating to history, humanities and science.

学生应该如何为此做准备呢?备考辅导老师们认为,他们应该经常深入阅读各种书籍文章,尤其是非小说类作品。这不是临阵磨枪的考前技巧,相反,这是一个长期的策略。阅读习惯对写作部分也大有裨益,这一部分要求考生能够长时间地保持专注。学生们必须读完有关历史、人文、科学等方面的冗长段落,才能回答有关语法、标点及词汇使用的问题。

What’s true of the writing section is true of the new SAT in general: There’s much more to read. “The most fundamental change is that there are many, many more words,” said Aaron Golumbfskie, education director for PrepMatters. “If you don’t read well and happily, this test isn’t going to be your friend.”

不仅写作部分是这样,整个新版的SAT也是这样。阅读的比重在整个考试中都大大加强。“最根本的改变就是要读的东西多了很多很多。”PrepMatter的教育总监亚伦·过朗夫斯克(Aaron Golumbfskie)说道,“如果你不善于阅读,又不喜爱阅读的话,那么这个考试对你来说会很难过。”

Even the math section will require more reading, with fewer questions based on equations and more word problems. Some prompts will present the same type of real-world situations that the Common Core emphasizes — “The recommended daily calcium intake for a 20-year-old is 1,000 milligrams (mg). One cup of milk contains 299 mg....” Mr. Golumbfskie describes the math section as “tighter in focus.” The current test covers a lot of ground, with a question or two on each topic; the new one will drill down into a few key areas. Geometry is fading out. Algebra is stepping up: Prepare for linear equations and inequalities, and systems of equations in two variables.

即使是数学部分也需要更多的阅读。考试中纯方程式题目减少了,应用题增加了。有些试题会以共同核心课程标准强调的实际生活案例为题。例如:“医生推荐的20岁成人钙摄入量为每日1000毫克。一杯牛奶含299毫克……”过朗夫斯克解释说,数学部分的重点更加集中了。目前的老版本考试范围很广,每个数学科目都会有一两道考题。新版则会更深入地考察较少的关键科目。平面几何将从考试中淡出。代数的比重则会增加,考生要在线性方程、不等式、二元方程等方面做好准备。

The addition of more-advanced math, such as trigonometry, means the test will cover material from a greater number of courses. That will make it more difficult for students to take the SAT early. Some questions will require knowledge of statistics, a course relatively few students take in high school. And because one math section will prohibit the use of a calculator, students who use them in class may want to practice tackling calculations with pencil and paper.

新版还增加了更深的数学科目,比如三角函数。这也意味着这一考试涵盖了更多数学科目内容,因而,在低年级就参加SAT考试不再那么容易。有些问题还会用到统计学知识,而这门课并非每个高中生的必修课。另外,一部分数学考试将不再允许使用计算器。因此,习惯在课堂上使用计算器的学生应该考虑做一些笔算练习。

After getting through all that math, test takers who opt to write the essay will have a much different assignment than they do today. The prompts, which will look familiar to those who’ve taken Advanced Placement English, ask for a critical response to a specific argument. In: analysis. Out: writing about your personal experiences. For example: Read excerpts from a 1967 speech by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and explain how he used evidence, reasoning and/or stylistic elements to support his argument that American involvement in the Vietnam War was unjust.

做完所有的数学部分以后,选择考作文的考生会面临与今天迥然不同的新任务。作文题会要求学生对一个指定论点作出批判性的回应。对参加过英语大学预修课考试(Advanced Placement)的学生来说,这样的题型看起来会很熟悉。作文着重分析,而不再要求描述个人经历。请看下面这个例子:请阅读下面这段牧师马丁·路德·金博士的1967年演讲节选,并解释他如何使用证据、推理或修辞方法来支持美国参与越战是不公正的这一论点。

As much as any other modification, the new essay captures the spirit of the new SAT, which underscores the importance of evidence. Questions throughout will require students to cite specific examples that support their answers. No longer can they get by on writing skills alone.

新的作文要求与新版SAT的其他改动一致,都体现了强调证据之重要性这一精髓。作文部分从头到尾都会要求学生用具体例子来支持他们的答案。他们不再可以仅仅依靠写作技巧来答题。

With all the new stuff to consider, it’s easy to forget about what’s not changing. At 3 hours 50 minutes (with the essay), the SAT is still a long, exhausting test. Besides measuring what students have learned, it will measure how they perform under pressure in a high-stakes situation — just like the old model.

这么多新变化都需要考虑,我们很容易忘记还有一些地方并没有改变。(包括作文部分的)SAT考试时间是3小时50分钟,它依然是一场漫长而艰苦的考试。除了对学生所学知识进行检验,它也能够测量他们在重要场合下的抗压能力。这一点和老版本完全一致。

Adam Ingersoll, a founder of Compass Education Group, a California test-prep service, said the College Board has made the SAT more resistant to the beat-the-test strategies his industry is known for teaching: “The mysteriousness of the test — they are actively trying to bleed that out.”

亚当·英格索罗(Adam Ingersoll)是加州一家备考服务公司Compass Education Group的创始人之一。英格索罗认为美国大学理事会对SAT所做的改变使其能更好地应对业内风行的“应考策略”:“他们在主动地尽量排除所谓的SAT考试的神秘性。”

But maybe not completely. While poring over sample questions, Mr. Ingersoll spotted the same “trap doors” — questions designed to distract or confuse and to enhance the test’s difficulty — that he finds in the current version.

不过他们在这方面的努力还没有完全成功。通过对样题的仔细研究,英格索罗发现了和老版本同样的“试题陷阱”——这些试题被故意设计来迷惑和误导考生,从而增加考试的难度。

Colleges use the SAT to sort applicants, and a wide distribution of scores helps them do that. “You can’t have all students getting a 750,” Mr. Ingersoll said. “It needs to be a benchmark of students’ achievement, but that is at odds with selective colleges’ need to have a test that sorts and ranks. These quirks and trap doors make the test perform the way it needs to.”

SAT考分被大学用来对申请人进行筛选,将学生的得分拉开会对这些学校有所帮助。“我们不能让所有学生都考750分。”英格索罗说道,“这个考试应该是一个学生学习成就的测验,可是一众精英院校需要的却是一个用来评估学生的筛选测验。这些特别的试题陷阱有助于让这个考试达到筛选的目的。”

So the big question burning up the web: Which version should I take? The answer could come down to timing. Students have just three more chances to take the current SAT — the last testing date is Jan. 23.

当前在网上最火的问题就是:我应该选择参加哪个版本的考试呢?这个问题的答案最终取决于时间。学生们只剩下三次机会可以选择老版SAT——最后一次老版SAT考试是1月23日。

One advantage of sticking with the current version: It’s a known quantity, and plenty of review materials exist. Those who were happy with their PSAT scores might want to take the soon-to-be-old SAT, which would look familiar to them. “There’s not a test-prep tutor anywhere who could look a family in the eye and say, ‘We can do as good a job for you on the new SAT this year,’” Mr. Ingersoll said.

坚持考老版本SAT的好处是:我们对这个考试有充分的了解,市面上充盈着丰富的复习资料。对之前PSAT考分满意的学生可以考虑老版SAT,因为这两个考试的结构会比较接近。英格索罗说:“没有一个备考私教敢大言不惭地对一家人说:‘今年我们帮助你对新版SAT做的准备会和过去一样出色。’”

Most students take the SAT for the first time in spring of their junior year. Those who don’t want to rush might decide that the new test, though less familiar, fits their schedule better. But remember this: The first cohort to take the new SAT, in March, won’t get their scores until after the next test date, in May. That’s about double the current wait time.

多数学生会在11年级春季学期第一次考SAT。有些不想仓促上阵的学生可能会决定选择新版。虽然他们对新版考试不一定很熟,然而考试的时间安排或许对他们会更为有利。但请记住:第一批在3月参加新版SAT考试的考生要等到5月的SAT考试以后才能得到分数报告。这个从考试到发布分数的时间是现在等待时间的两倍。

The second question everyone is asking: Is the new test harder? No, several test preppers insist, though some students might stumble over the longer reading passages, the deeper dive into math and questions that require multiple steps to reach an answer. Those concerns could drive many students to take the old test — or the ACT.

大家都在问的第二个问题是:新版考试是否会更难?一些备考专家们认为不会。但是,较长的阅读段落,以及更深的、需要分几步才能得到答案的数学题有可能会使一些学生摔跟头。这些担忧会促使许多学生选择考老版SAT,或者ACT。

Some expect that the new SAT will be even more challenging for the disadvantaged. By weaving more tightly into high-school curriculum, the test would seem to best serve students at high-performing schools, with the strong teachers who prepare them for state standards, as well as affluent students with access to test prep.

有些专家预期,新版SAT对弱势学生群体会是个更大的挑战。因为这个考试与高中课程联系得更加紧密,所以它对好学校里的学生最为有利。这些学校里有雄厚的师资力量来帮助学生达到各州的学习标准,而学生富裕的经济条件也使他们得以接受备考服务。

“There’s a new body style on the Chevrolet, but it has zero to do with performance — the engine’s the same,” said Jay Rosner, the Princeton Review Foundation’s executive director, who tutors low-income and underrepresented minority students. “It’s going to generate the same hierarchy of scores that exists now.”

普林斯顿评论基金会(Princeton Review Foundation)的执行总监杰·罗斯那(Jay Rosner)说:“这次的考试改革如同雪弗兰汽车换了一款新的车身,但是这个改变对这款车型的性能表现毫无影响——汽车的发动机还是和原来一样。”罗斯那是低收入和弱势少数族裔学生的辅导老师。他说:“新版SAT会产生和现在同样的分数等级。”

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