Writing SAT Scores Set New Low

The 2012 scores for the writing SAT exam saw male and female high school students reach a new low.  The writing test was first administered in 2006. That outcome further illustrates the importance of enhanced opportunities for student writing improvement at the college level.

During spring 2012, my BBA 407—Microeconomic Foundations of Business course for first-year business students was “writing-intensive.” Such courses require students to write 15-20 pages of proofread, typed work over multiple assignments. Student writing had to conform to the Modern Language Association style.

My course required students to submit two papers. The first paper asked students to research and write on a topic relevant to economics that appeared in the news over the past two years. The second assignment was developed in collaboration with the ENG 120 instructor and asked students to examine the economic angle(s) associated with their ENG 120 paper. Major principles included supply-and-demand, pricing, marginal analysis (to maximize utility, output, profits, revenue, etc.), opportunity costs, industry structure (perfect competition, monopoly, monopolistic competition, and oligopoly), and market limitations. Both papers were evaluated based on: (1) content and topic, (2) organization of the writing, (3) ideas and support and (4) mechanics and presentation.

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