The blow to students of a redesigned, more rigorous SAT college entrance exam may get softened by the offer of a free test prep program.
The College Board, which administers the test, has teamed up with education nonprofit Khan Academy, which provides technology intensive instruction in math, art, computer programming, economics and a host of other topics. Khan's mission with The College Board will be to provide students with the resources they need to prepare for the new test coming in March. The best part is that it won't cost the kids a dime.
The program, launched by Khan Academy this month, will include online tutorials in math, reading and writing. It also provides practice tests to familiarize students with the changes they should expect on the exam.
While it may be surprising that the 115-year-old College Board decided to partner with a 6-year-old start-up, the organization has been looking for ways to provide more access to less affluent students. The academy draws its funding from a number of outside sources, including venture capital, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Google.
"There's always been this perceived and maybe actual unleveling of the playing field because of the test prep industry," explained Khan Academy founder and CEO Salman Khan. "I think it was pretty forward thinking of them to say, 'Look, we're going to call it out, and we're going to work with the Khan Academy to make great test prep.' "