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Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Evidence of Khan positive impact

By Caitlin Emma
05/08/2017 03:49 PM EDT

Students who use free SAT preparation materials from the nonprofit Khan Academy for about 20 hours gain an average of 115 points on the 1,600-point test, the College Board said today.

The College Board in 2014 announced it was partnering with Khan Academy to offer the free materials at the same time it said it was redesigning the college admissions test.

The announcement came in response to criticism that low-income students were unable to afford costly test prep materials that gave them an edge. The test overhaul, which was rolled out two years later, eliminated obscure vocabulary words and placed more emphasis on real-world data in subjects like math and science.

For the evaluation, the College Board looked at nearly 250,000 test takers to determine whether they made gains between when they took the PSAT and the SAT. Students who didn't practice at all saw a gain of 60 points, it said. Practicing six to eight hours led to a gain of about 90 points. Overall, it said that 16,000 students saw increases of 200 points or more.

David Coleman, president of the College Board, said the gains made were consistent across race, gender, family income and ethnicity. The testing organization didn't immediately provide reporters with a breakout of that data during a media call this afternoon.

Coleman said he believes the test prep materials go beyond just familiarizing students with the SAT by helping students better learn the material and target points of weakness.