Every week, we celebrate student creativity through the The Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest. For last week’s Shout-Out, students in Melissa Torres’ 8th social studies class at W.P. McLean School in Fort Worth, Texas stood out with their critical thinking about improving college admissions exams. Read on to learn what they proposed!
In a recent edition of the Week in Rap, we covered upcoming changes to the SAT that will debut next spring. Among the changes are an optional essay, greater focus on college and career vocabulary, and more word problems in math. Students also will not be penalized for taking a guess at answers. With these changes on the horizon, we thought we’d ask students – the very people that take these exams – about what assessments should include. What changes to format and content would students make?
Students’ responses highlighted how varied opinions can be when it comes to assessments. One student thought questions should focus on key stats and facts in American history, like naming 20 presidents and 15 state capitals. One student thought a focus on ELA and math would be more practical for knowledge needed in the future, while another suggested a test completed in song. Students also shared some ways for an exam to allow test-takers to demonstrate their individuality and goals for the future – here are some examples:
- “The last section of the test would be about what students do in their free time. If students are given an opportunity to explain and tell about why they do for fun, it will say a lot about them as a person. Even if their answer is something that doesn’t sound beneficial most things can be explained to show at least a small bit of value in what they do, which would also show off the student’s creativity.”
- “The essay is about the job you want to do once you get your diploma and what classes you need to take to achieve it.”
We loved that these students brought their unique opinions to the test-writing table. Thank you for your critical look at how to best assess students for what’s ahead, W.P. McLean!
Will your students win the next shout-out? Click here to find out how to enter the next Week in Rap Shout-Out Contest Challenge.