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有时我喜欢安静,有时我喜欢热闹。 有时我喜欢加入人群,有时我喜欢远离他们,独自呆着。 冬天我渴望阳光,夏天我盼望下雪。 春去秋来,不变的是我的学术信仰、志向和兴趣。一直思考着:什么是语用?为什么要研究语用?怎样研究语用?研究语用需要具备哪些素质?谁在研究语用?语用研究的走势如何?存在哪些问题?等等。 我深信“宁静”方可“致远”的道理,努力走向这种境界。 求学、求真的路上,深深领悟到过程决定结果,过程大于结果,远远大于结果。

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Are American College Entrance Exams Unfair?   

2016-07-18 16:02:47|  分类: 默认分类 |  标签: |举报 |字号 订阅

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Are American College Entrance Exams Unfair? For years, colleges have used these teststo help measure an applicant’s academicskills. But more universities are becoming“test optional.” Students who apply to test-optional schools can choose whether theywant to include test scores in theirapplications. George Washington University in Washington, D.C. is one of the latestschools to adopt a test-optionaladmissions policy for most of its applicants. It is the largest privateuniversity to drop the test requirement. Karen Stroud Felton is the Dean of Admissions at George WashingtonUniversity. She said in a statement that the university “had concerns that studentswho could be successful… feltdiscouraged from applying if their scoreswere not as strong as their high schoolperformance.” Each of America’s more than 3,000 colleges and universities has its ownadmission requirements. At somecolleges, test scores are very important. Others are more interested in an applicant’s life experience, teacherrecommendations, community service, and talents. High school GPA, or grade point average, is another way to judge a student’s ability. A GPA of 3.5 or higher (on scale from 0 to 4) is considered good. For internationalapplicants, universities have specialistsreview the academic standards of differentcountries and convert them to GPAequivalents. Jennifer Tkacz is the Director of International Admissions at George Mason University. It is the largest test-optionaluniversity in the United States. She explains why the school went test-optionalin 2006. “The university administration felt that for many students, their test scores aren’t necessarily a reflection of their academicstrength and the GPA is a much betterindicator.” Ms. Tkacz says high school performancesays more about a student’s potentialthan a test score. “Generally, a strong curriculum that prepares students for college we feel is a much better indicator of how they will succeed. They’ve been in the classroom, they been taking challenging coursework, they’ve been applying that coursework to tests, writing papers, and participating in classroom work. And we think reviewingthat information would give us a betteridea of how they would perform here at Mason--versus sitting down one day, onetime, taking a test.” Cheryl O’Brien owns a test preparationcompany in New York. She says wealthystudents have a major advantage on college entrance tests. They can spendmonths or even years preparing for the test with private teachers. Students withmore motivation than money can practicewith study guides. But self-study, even for highly motivated students, is not the same. Ms. O’Brien explains: “It’s never going to be as good as workingwith somebody when you can havefeedback. Books don’t talk back to you. Books don’t explain to you what’s going on and how to understand something.” A 2010 study in the Harvard Educational Review argued that the SAT usedvocabulary that was more familiar to whitetest takers. The study said that the SAT“appears to be biased against the African-American minority group.” Fair Test, an anti-testing organization, says the ACT’s fast-paced multiple-choice format favorsmale test takers. Ryan Lessing is a student at Brown University, a highly selective school that requires a test score. He says the SAT is not perfect, but it serves an importantpurpose. “What the SATs provide that is really usefulis a relatively neutral benchmark…The rigor of coursework is not the sameacross schools. The activities that are available not the same across schools…The SAT provides some benchmark, whichis at least relatively consistent amongapplicants.” Mr. Lessing says the SAT is not the causeof educational inequality. He says the difference in test scores just reflects the deep inequality in American society. “Students from lower income families justdon’t have access to the same educationalresources across the board. And that is a real problem. And that, I think, is the problem we should be discussing in tryingto address...the SAT makes a convenientvillain.” James Montoya is a vice president of the College Board, the organization that ownsand publishes the SAT. He says the SAT is very important for international students. “Given the globalization of admission withmore students applying from secondaryschools that many US colleges and universities are not familiar with, certainlystandardized test scores continue to be a valuable tool, given that it providesadmission officers with great insight into a student’s ability to do well.” Mr. Montoya says that the majority of colleges in the US still require test scores. “You will find it interesting to know that even those institutions that are test-optional [often] require students from particular areas--those applying for specialscholarships, those with lower GPAs--tosubmit SAT scores.” Mr. Montoya adds that test-optionalpolicies have not led to increased racialdiversity on college campuses. A study by Bates College tracked studentsfrom 33 test-optional schools. The studycompared students who sent SAT scoreswith students who did not send scores. It found almost no difference in collegegrades or graduation rates. A new version of the SAT will come out in the spring of 2016. Words in the Story SAT - n. a standardized test widely usedfor college admissions in the UnitedStates. It is owned and published by the College Board. ACT - n. a standardized test widely usedfor college admissions in the United Statespublished by ACT, Inc. A competitor to the SAT. equivalent – adj. having the same value, use, meaning, etc. indicator – n. a sign that shows the condition or existence of something potential - n. capable of becoming real curriculum – n. the courses that are taught by a school, college, etc. feedback – n. helpful information or criticism that is given to someone to saywhat can be done to improve a performance, product, etc. neutral – adj. not supporting either side of an argument, fight, war, etc. benchmark – n. something that can be used as a way to judge the quality or levelof other, similar things rigor – n. the quality or state of being veryexact, careful, or strict consistent – adj. of the same quality inequality – n. an unfair situation in whichsome people have more rights or betteropportunities than other people across the board – adv. applying to allthe individuals in a group villain – n. a character in a story, movie, etc., who does bad things evaluate –v. to judge the value or condition of (someone or something) in a careful and thoughtful way insight – n. the ability to understandpeople and situations in a very clear way
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