Just three years ago, the College Board completely revised their SAT test with a different grading system.
However, the College Board has just released shocking news. This upcoming academic year, a Brand New Grading System that incorporates handwriting into the grade will be implemented. The College Board claims that with the increasing digitized world, handwriting has slowly become obsolete. Statistics show that the average college student’s handwriting legibility score in 2018 was 3.8, with 10 being the perfect score. The decreasing legibility of the student’s handwriting has been studied by NASA, and they have concluded that with the growing number of electronic devices students use daily, such as digital books, iPads, computers, and iPhones, the use of paper and pens has been reduced; ultimately their brains have slowly erased the memory of the handwriting skills they used to own and replaced it with other information.
This new grading system that the College Board has introduced will be the first standardized test that includes handwriting in the final score of the test. It was announced by the College Board that they will still have four sections: Reading, Writing and Language, Math without Calculator, and Math with Calculator, along with the optional Essay section. However, they have incorporated a brand new answer sheet, every student needs to copy the answer on to the paper completely, including the math section.
50% of the score is graded based on the completion and the accuracy of the answers. 40% of the test score is graded based on the legibility of the answer written on the answer booklet. The legibility score will be separated into two parts, one automatically graded by the computer, and another graded by teachers who will carefully examine the answers. The remaining 10% of the test score will be graded by how test takers write their names on the answer sheet. In the 2016 edited SAT test, test takers would fill in the bubble sheet to fill out their name; however, in this newly edited SAT test, test takers need to hand letter their name as elegantly and professionally as they can to earn the 10% of the test score.
The College Board also states that using this method, they will be able to prevent future cheating. As the student’s handwriting will be saved in the computer, if their handwriting drastically changes between tests, they could send out a warning and cancel the student’s test scores.
With the mixed voices towards this new scoring method, the world doubts whether grading based on handwriting would truly improve college student handwriting legibility and prevent future cheating.