Since the first live DSAT in March, we've been diligently gathering feedback through exit surveys after each test administration. Our mission? To refine the test content, gauge question difficulty, and ensure students are well-prepared. We believe that every test-taker deserves a level playing field and an exam experience that doesn't throw curveballs.
In the August test, our feedback brought up a few interesting points:
Recycled Questions from the Bluebook App: We discovered that some students spotted recycled questions from the pencil and paper tests and the Bluebook app. For students relying solely on these resources, it was a bit of a shocker.
Challenging Question Difficulty: Many students, especially the high scorers (1350 and up), found the questions, especially in the harder second sections, to be notably tougher compared to those in the Bluebook tests. "If I had relied solely on the Bluebook tests, I'd have been in trouble today," remarked one student. These high scorers didn't encounter content surprises, just unexpectedly tough questions.
Prep Matters: The students who faced the challenging questions with confidence were those who had prepped with our LMS. Not only did they feel prepared in terms of content, but they also had a good grasp of the testing interface.
The harder questions created pacing issues for those who weren't well-prepared. Even students who had put in the effort to prepare found themselves getting hung up on these challenging questions, worrying about time, and second-guessing themselves. They left the test centers looking visibly flustered.
The Par Time Tracker: This feature tracks the amount of time students at each scoring level should spend on each question. It provides students with a sense of how much time is appropriate based on their target scores. Moreover, it helps tutors identify not just where students are losing points but also where they're losing time relative to their scoring level. This valuable tool is included in all TPAPT score reports.
Clearly, the College Board is still fine-tuning its test content. For high-scoring students, preparing on challenging, well-written, and thoroughly tested content is essential. Relying solely on the Bluebook won't cut it. Harder questions are, well, harder to construct. There's no room for surprises on test day. We want all students to walk out feeling like they strolled through the park.
It's crucial for students to be well-prepared, and with the right resources like TPAPT, they can confidently tackle even the toughest questions the SAT throws at them. The goal is to ensure that every student, regardless of their background, has a fair shot at success on test day.