Yes, the College Board has announced that by 2010 it will offer a pre-college test for eighth graders. The test will be given two years before the first time the PSAT can be taken by sophomores. (PSATs are often given the junior year before the SAT to prepare students for the SAT, but many sophomores take the PSAT early to have two practice tests and to see if they can raise their score in a year’s time.)
Those who are excited about this additional test have several reasons. One is they feel it will help put students in the mind-set for college and raise both aspirations and effort. Another reason is students who take the test can get a feel for how important their course choices are for the standardized tests like SATs that help them enter college. If you do poorly in math on the PSAT your sophomore or junior year, it’s already too late to take algebra in the eighth grade. Finally, supporters feel the test will help identify students’ potential for AP courses and honors courses in their future high school years.
Others feel one more test is unnecessary and distracting from class work. Opponents would rather see monies put into improving teaching and curriculum.
What do you think?