Secondary links

Sitting the SAT

The SAT Reasoning Test, formerly known as the Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a standardised test which historically has been a contributing factor in the American university entrance process (in combination with final grades and extracurricular activities). In recent years, the test has become more popular globally, as institutes of higher learning in Canada, England, Singapore, South Korea and more have begun accepting SAT scores as equivalent to their national university entrance exams. This trend is noticeable in Shanghai as Dulwich College, a local school which offers a decidedly British curriculum, opted to become an SAT testing centre when it added its Year 13 IB offerings. 

The number of SAT testing centres in Shanghai became tightly controlled by Educational Testing Service, the company that administers the tests, after reports of cheating at local testing centres arose several years ago. In order to qualify to sit for the exam, test-takers in China must sit the SAT at the international school at which they are enrolled. Schools that double as testing centres in Shanghai include: Concordia International School, Dulwich College, SAS, SCIS, SHSID and YCIS. Notably, a significant number of international and local schools in town do not serve as a testing centre, and students enrolled at these schools must take the SAT outside of the Mainland.

The SAT has been the gold standard of college entrance exam testing for the past 80 years in the United States. Scientific tests have shown significant correlations between a student’s test score and his or her ability to succeed in an American university setting. Despite the SAT’s long history and proven track record, standardised testing has not traditionally had a place in Western pedagogy. Debates, such as those favoured by Socrates, and essay writing have historically been considered the best measuring sticks for intellectual prowess, a note that the SAT took into account in 2005 by incorporating a writing section. In its 2008-5 Research Report, College Board, the producer of the exam, said that the 2005 shift toward writing “incorporated a number of important changes... to enhance the test’s alignment with current high school curricula and emphasise the skills needed for success in college.”

Jordan Neufield, founder of New Horizons Test Preparation in Shanghai, agreed with the assessment, saying, “I definitely think that the SAT is a better test now. The incorporation of the writing section made it much less vocabulary intensive to create a well-rounded test.”


Recent comments

Talk Partners

Talk Insider - Register now and win!

Upcoming Events