2017-10-18 / School News

West Virginia juniors to take SAT as assessment test this spring

All West Virginia high school juniors will begin taking the SAT as the statewide summative assessment in spring 2018. The West Virginia Department of Education (WVDE) selected The College Board on September 13 to supply the test following a bid process for the high school assessment.

The move was a result of a West Virginia House of Delegates bill (HB 2711) passed last April. The bill said the WVDE had to identify a college entrance exam to be used as the statewide high school assessment.

“The College Board’s SAT test is a widely respected assessment used across the country,” said Assistant Superintendent of Teaching and Learning, Dr. Lou Maynus. “College Board proved through the bid process that its product was the better assessment for West Virginia students by providing valuable resources at a lower cost than the other bidder.”

SAT was selected as the successful bidder because their proposal more closely met the specifications of the request for proposals (RFP).

Students will have access to a large number of resources including the official practice portal for SAT. There, students have access to eight practice tests, thousands of practice questions and personalized recommendations to help students focus on the skills needed to improve their performance, said state education officials.

WVDE officials also said SAT has a process to accommodate testing and support students with disabilities, students on section 504 plans and English learners.

West Virginia high schools already use The College Board’s Advanced Placement (AP) program that helps students earn college credits while in high school.

Students will take the SAT the first year in a paper format. State officials will have the option to move the test online in future years.

According to state officials, the test will be the same as a typical Saturday SAT assessment, but given to students during the regular school day. Students can send their scores to up to four colleges or universities at no cost.

The SAT is accepted at all institutions of higher learning throughout West Virginia and the nation. It is also used as a qualifier for the Promise Scholarship.

State officials said because the SAT will now be used as the state’s 11th grade general summative assessment for accountability purposes, all West Virginia juniors must take it. Only students with significant cognitive disabilities will be exempt, and will take the West Virginia Alternate Assessment instead.

Schools will be responsible for assessing 95% of their 11th grade students. Students still have the option to take the ACT as their college entrance exam at their own expense, said WVDE officials.

“I am thrilled that our students will be able take a globally-recognized college admission test at no cost,” said West Virginia Associate Superintendent of Schools, Clayton Burch. “The SAT will add value and influence the effort index among our high school students because it is tied to concrete outcomes and benefits.”

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