By EHUD ZION WALDOKS
Princeton Review: SAT significantly easier than its Israeli counterpart.
One of the hardest tests Israeli pupils take is the psychometric exam to get into university. While many may think the test is unavoidable, The Princeton Review in Israel says there is actually an easier option, especially for Israelis with good English - the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT). The Princeton Review is a training course for the SAT, the entrance exam for all American universities, which is accepted by Israeli universities, as well. The SAT is significantly easier than its Israeli counterpart, provided one's level of English is decent, according to The Princeton Review. Dov Shalit, managing director of The Princeton Review in Israel, said: "SAT exams are meant for American high school juniors [11th grade], while the psychometric exam is meant for Israeli high school graduates who have completed their matriculation exams. There is a significant difference in the education levels of these two groups and you can see it in the exams." Just 800-900 pupils in Israel have taken the SAT each year, according to College Board (the association of academic institutes in North America) statistics. Comparatively, a test-taker has 10 more seconds to answer each question on the SAT than on the psychometric exam. In addition, there are breaks built into the roughly four-hour SAT exam, while there are none in the psychometric. The essay section of the SAT is disregarded in Israel, so it does not pose an obstacle. The verbal section of the psychometric focuses on logic and reasoning, while the SAT focuses more on grammar, a subject Israeli pupils specifically study, as opposed to their American counterparts, according to The Princeton Review. "If you're going to take an exam in English anyway, the SAT is easier," Shalit said. "Israeli universities also do not take the writing section into consideration, so students taking the SAT have plenty of extra time between sections. "Based on the equivalence universities use, our Israeli students in the past year averaged close to the equivalent of 700 on the psychometric exam. It's simply an easier way of getting there." Another option is to take the psychometric exam in one's native language; all tests are graded equivalently.