Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

SATs to Become Even More Unreliable

By BloodmoonACK in News
Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 11:20:24 AM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

Here in the U.S., most colleges require students to take the SAT, which is supposed to measure how well you will do in your first year of college. The SAT has questions on analogies, reading comprehension, basic algebra and geometry, and word meaning. Recently, it has come under criticism for being too susceptible to coaching and not accurately measuring what it is supposed to measure. So the College Board has come up with a solution. On the math section of the SAT, geometry will play a less important role, while more advanced algebra will be added. The verbal section will now be known as "critical reading". It will no longer use analogies and will instead have more questions on reading comprehension. Most important, however, is the addition of a writing section, which, obviously, will ask the student to write an essay.

This could not have happened at a more inopportune time for the College Board. Researchers in Britain have recently announced that essay grading is subjective. While this may seem obvious, the extent is not; the researchers reported many cases where the equivalent of an "B+" grade and a "D" grade were given to the same paper.

There are two problems that the College Board is trying to address. The first is the rampant coaching for the test that only widens the gap between the scores that the rich and the poor receive. The second problem is that some schools no longer require the SATs for admission, and others are expected to follow suit. That's bad for the College Board's business.

The first problem will obviously not go away. In fact, CNN is reporting that the new tests are expected to boost the preparation business. Not that this should surprise anybody. With the new uncertainty added to the test, people will feel compelled to get coaching.

The second problem, though more important to the College Board, is less important to the discussion here. The College Board is obviously desperate to make sure that the SATs continue to be used; many colleges, such as the University of California system, say they are a poor predictor of success in college. Studies have shown this to be undoubtedly true. However, by updating the curriculum to cover more advanced topics, the College Board hopes to lure these colleges back.

It is important to note that the College Board has another series of tests, the "SAT II". These tests measure ability in certain subjects - in Physics, Writing, Chemistry and others. One of these tests, the SAT II - Writing, is essentially what they are adding to the SAT (technically called the SAT I). There are a few crucial differences. First is the fact that this is an SAT II; while some colleges do ask you to submit this, not all do. When they do ask you to submit it, the college is generally more interested in whether you are an incompetent writer. As long as you get a mediocre score, I am told they do not care. In addition, the SAT II - Writing tests knowledge of grammar and other writing abilities in multiple choice questions. These are written so as to be as non-subjective as possible. The problem with having this on the SAT is that colleges actually care about this score. Having the Writing section become part of the SAT will cause colleges to start becoming concerned with subjective material.

Finally, there is the problem of this new study released by researchers in Britain. A test that is supposed to measure a person's academic abilities is not well served by adding a subjective portion to the test. Now it will not only test your socioeconomic status; it will also test your luck.

Note: This story idea came from an NPR news clip on this same topic. Sorry; this is a Real sound file.


Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure


SATs are
o ...completely unreliable. 10%
o ...going to become even more unreliable. 19%
o ...great! I got a 1600! 24%
o ...stupid. I don't live in the U.S. 27%
o ...for the weak. Real men take the ACTs. 18%

Votes: 132
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o a solution
o essay grading is subjective
o expected to boost the preparation business
o NPR news clip
o Also by BloodmoonACK

Display: Sort:
SATs to Become Even More Unreliable | 111 comments (83 topical, 28 editorial, 0 hidden)
SATs: useless (2.85 / 7) (#1)
by rickward on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 09:47:46 PM EST

Standardized tests are only valid for standardized people. I aced every standardized college entrance exam I took, and I barely managed a pansy-ass bachelor of arts in communications.

"Crack don't smoke itself." —Traditional

They do one thing... (4.00 / 2) (#70)
by jseverin on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 08:42:26 AM EST

...They indicate how well you do on standardized tests.

When tertiary education becomes big business the schools lose incentive to be selective about their students' abilities - only about their bank accounts. That's the result of capitalism vs. academia.

So the gauge of student ability, be it the SAT, some essays, good looks, or something else entirely, becomes peripheral.

I'd like to believe that there are some select US universities out there that still want good students. I didn't attend one.

[ Parent ]

Not to mention (2.12 / 8) (#2)
by leviramsey on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 09:49:38 PM EST

That the essay section is just about guaranteed to disproportionately help those of the feminine gender.

hmm? (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by Danse on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 12:00:57 AM EST

So you're saying that the math portion disproportionately helps males? Maybe it just tests a variety of areas, and not all people are strong in all areas.

An honest debate between Bush and Kerry
[ Parent ]
Why? (none / 0) (#95)
by damiam on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 04:08:24 PM EST

Are females disproportionately better at writing essays? Or is the test graded by a bunch of 60-year-old perverts who look at the writer's name, say "Sounds like a hot chick," and automatically give a perfect score?

Inquiring minds want to know.

[ Parent ]

Yes. (4.00 / 2) (#99)
by iodine on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 08:42:14 PM EST

Generalizations which are mainly true: Girls have more rounded handwriting. Boys have scribbly handwriting. So it can be done.

[ Parent ]
Just a quick note (1.91 / 12) (#6)
by medham on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 10:11:55 PM EST

Essay grading isn't subjective. At least, it's no more subjective than any other form of grading outside certain types of math tests.

In my experience, those who tend to believe this are those who've received poor essay grades and would rather attribute it to the bias of their teachers rather than to their own personal failings.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Interesting (3.50 / 2) (#8)
by qpt on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 10:37:54 PM EST

I have always received high marks for essays, but I think that their grading is subjective.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Yes (1.80 / 5) (#14)
by medham on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 11:19:34 PM EST

That's very interesting, qpt. You may go outside and play now.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Thanks (2.00 / 1) (#18)
by qpt on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 11:38:41 PM EST

I was trying to be polite, but tact is apparently going right over your head.

medham, you have no experience with essay grading, and your fabricated "observations" prove that. I hate to be the one to discredit you, but someone had to.

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Oh, oh (2.00 / 1) (#40)
by medham on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:46:17 AM EST

How I wish that were true, as would you, did you know the labors of teaching apercus.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Perhaps not. (none / 0) (#52)
by qpt on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:28:39 AM EST

I am not sure that I am magnanimous enough to wish you free of odious labor. I would have to think about that.

What does teaching apercus require?

Domine Deus, creator coeli et terrae respice humilitatem nostram.
[ Parent ]

Hmm ... that's odd ... (4.25 / 4) (#11)
by Hektor on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 10:54:01 PM EST

Quick information; the Danish school system uses a grade system made up of 10 grades, ranging from 00 to 13, with 01, 02, 04 and 12 left out; 00 being the absolutely lowest possible grade and almost impossible to receive and 13 being above perfect for the level of education. 11 is given for a perfect performance that doesn't go beyond your level of education or curriculum. 8 is the medium grade; grades 00, 03 and 5 are failing grades.

My final essay in litterature was awarded an 11; it was graded by three different teachers as 9, 11 and 13. There is a HUGE difference between a 9 and a 13. The 9 and 13 was given by the first two teachers, who were supposed to agree on a grade, but since neither of the would budge toward the others grade, they asked a third teacher, who awarded it an 11.

I have since asked other teachers from the same school to grade the essay (out of morbid curiosity), and in doing so, it has gotten every grade ranging from 7 to 13 - all in all it has gotten a 1 7, 1 8, 2 9, 1 10, 3 11s and 2 13s - this is a very big spread; it didn't affect my graduating, as I needed a grade better than -3 for that essay to flunk, but several of my class mates had to get grades of 9+ to graduate.

Essays are very subjective, as each grading teacher has a different idea of how an essay should be written on each subject, and the essays the are closest to that teachers ideas are going to get the better grades.

I was told, that one of the reasons the grades varied so much in my case, was that we were given 6 different subjects to write about, and I (being my usual cocky self) chose to write about one specific subject, and draw paralels to three of the other subjects - something which, according to my litterature teacher (who graded it to an 11) said would result in no more than a 7 from 90% of the teachers, simply because it was impossible to do so; that I managed to to so he ascribed to 99.99% luck and 0.001% brain (which I definately do not agree to - I don't have that much brain) - mainly because no essay I had ever written up to that point had gotten more than an 8, most of them only fetching a 6.

Grading an essay is more subjective, because there is no real answer; in chemestry and physics there are dozens of ways to achieve the correct result, and the only subjective part is "is the an ingenious way to do this?". When asking people what a certain word means, there are only so many ways they can answer; ask them to interpret a text, and there are more ways to do so than I'd care to imagine - this is why it is subjective.

[ Parent ]

Playing the Subjectivity (none / 0) (#20)
by MuglyWumple on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 11:47:31 PM EST

I knew a fellow who's test essays got high grades not from their excellence, but because he had a knack for remembering the teacher's exact phrases.

[ Parent ]
Grade this test subjectively. (none / 0) (#33)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:03:37 AM EST

Here is a test.

Social Studies Section:

Identify the legal precedent which Plessy v. Ferguson established:

a)Affirmative Action
b)"Forty Acres and a Mule"
c)"Seperate but Equal"
d)The Establishment Clause

Math Section:

What is the square root of 64?


Science Section:

If an object massing 5 kilograms is on the Earth's surface, what force does gravity exert on the object?

a)790 watts
b)49 watts
c)790 newtons
d)49 newtons

Foreign Language Section:

Conjugate first person singular Latin verb meaning "I love"

a) Amo
b) Amat
c) Voco
d) Vocat

Please grade this subjectively, medham. Show me how it is done.

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

"Subjectivity" (none / 0) (#39)
by paine in the ass on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:28:00 AM EST

I believe the questions on standardized tests allow for some subjectivity,. You, I believe, have deliberately constructed examples which can only have one possble answer, and while on a math section that is expected, you'll often notice that the instructions tell you to "select the best answer" and this usually becomes necessary, especially in verbal areas; I have taken many standardized tests where I could have made a good case for more than one answer being "correct" and finally just had to pick one and hope (for example, look at the analogies on a CTBS, ACT, SAT, or other test at some point). This "subjectivity" is not due to the method of grading, but to the way in which the test is written.

I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

Of course (none / 0) (#41)
by medham on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:48:11 AM EST

The subjectivity here has just been displaced to the selection process.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

The selection of what? -NT- (none / 0) (#43)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:52:14 AM EST

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]
The questions (none / 0) (#47)
by medham on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:57:21 AM EST

See how a lifetime of memorization has eroded your ability to think?

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

In that case... (none / 0) (#48)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:09:32 AM EST

... everything is subjective.

The point is that if you give 500 teachers a writing test and one student's essay, it will be given a wide range of grades.

Give 500 teachers a properly written test in some other subject and one student's answer sheet, and they will all give the same grade.

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Two things (1.50 / 2) (#50)
by medham on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:15:51 AM EST

It's well established that 500 teachers grading essays will have about the same range of variance that you'd expect from mechanical failure on a computer-read bubble sheet multiple choicer.

You clearly don't have even the modest abstract reasoning abilities required to grasp the idea that all tests are subjective insofar as the material tested comprises a part of a whole. Writing essays requires thinking. Your essays have been gradedly poorly because you aren't that good at it. Keep at it.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

500 HYPOTHETICAL teachers could grade perfectly :P (none / 0) (#54)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:49:45 AM EST

We are confusing subjectivity in the selection of questions and subjectivity in grading those questions.

First off, to counter your accusation that I merely believe essay grading is subjective because I do poorly on essay tests, I received 800 on the SAT II Writing Test and a 99 on the New York State English Regents Exam (on which I used Dr. Seuss' Butter Battle Book as a literary work to analyze.)

All tests are subjective in the selection of questions. On this I agree with you.

Tests vary in subjectivity when it comes to grading. On a math test which does not have grossly malformed questions each question definitely has one right answer. On multiple choice, true or false, short answer tests, etc. it is harder to write questions that can be graded with no subjectivity, but it is possible. In the context of the SAT I test, it doesn't matter that the questions and answers may be ambigous, becaues ETS declares a correct answer for all tests and the tests are graded by unthinking Scantron machines.

On essay tests objectivity goes out the window. Guidelines are given, but there is still much latitude for the essay grader's personal preferences. On a scale of 1-6, how many points should you take off for five spelling errors? What if they were spelling errors in hard words (SAT words? :P )? What if they were spelling errors in easy words like "the" and "there"? Some rules of grammar aren't even standardized in the real world. "Its" and "it's", the use of contractions, and the use of "they" as a singular gender neutral pronoun are some examples. What if the essay reader is pissed off from trying to read some kid's chicken scratch handwriting, or the student chose to support a view that the reader disagrees with.

Essay writing tests are orders of magnitude more subjective when it comes to the grading process than tests in other subjects.

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Excuse me? (2.00 / 1) (#66)
by abdera on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:58:16 AM EST

It's well established that 500 teachers grading essays will have about the same range of variance that you'd expect from mechanical failure on a computer-read bubble sheet multiple choicer.

WTF are you talking about? I've had high-school honors english teachers that were absolute morons. One dumbass actually thought he was smart by saying that "Richard Wagner" is pronounced like "Richard Vogner," leaving the Englich "ch" blend instead of a "k" sound. Do you really think that a fuck-wit like that is capable of grading an essay?

Besides, I never had to worry about my essays being "gradedly poorly." Let me guess: you're one of those great teachers that can grade an essay subjectively, right?

#224 [deft-:deft@98A9C369.ipt.aol.com] at least i don't go on aol
[ Parent ]

unlikely (4.00 / 1) (#89)
by ethereal on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 03:10:55 PM EST

Hmmm, considering the variance among essay grades that I have seen, I have to consider that you have an abnormally high rate of computer-read bubble sheet scanner mechanical failure where you went to school. Was there a lot of dust in the air, or perhaps some sort of abrasive particles that wore out the workings more quickly than usual? Did you not use #2 pencils as instructed?

If it's "well established", then please cite the failure rate for those ScanTron machines. Because I don't think I've ever had to return one of those sheets because of a mechanical mis-grading, and that's over the course of probably 10 years of school. I have, however, seen plenty of variability in essay grading, especially if profs hand them off to their grad students.

('Cause I started before they reached widespread use, that's why - I'm not actually in High School :)


Stand up for your right to not believe: Americans United for Separation of Church and State
[ Parent ]

Heh (2.50 / 16) (#7)
by TunkeyMicket on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 10:11:59 PM EST

I'm a pretty smart kid, but could never break 1370 on my SAT's, yet I get a 34 the first try on the ACT, and a 35 the second try. Why? The SAT is racist against white people. I don't wanna read some fucking article about a boy, whose name I can't pronounce [you'd think a missionary would give him a real christian name or something </sarcasm>], swimming in some far off land. I don't care if its more diverse. Because all they ask me is: On line 112 what does acceptable refer to? The SAT's are a joke. Now they're dropping more the math, which I got a 770 on mind you, and adding more of the "I like to jerk off small boys" articles. Jeeze, stick to the ACT's and you'll get into a good northern college. Worked for me.
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
Some places don't like the ACT. (none / 0) (#38)
by paine in the ass on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:23:40 AM EST

For the record, I got a 31 on the ACT, and danced around 1400 on the SAT (like you, I was strong on one side...in my case it was verbal, where I got 750), and I needed both for all of my college applications; most of the in-state public schools I looked at wanted ACT, most of the out-of-state private schools wanted SAT.

I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

Quite the opposite for me (none / 0) (#68)
by TunkeyMicket on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 08:24:35 AM EST

In state schools [North Carolina] wanted the SAT, and out of state schools [Illinois, California] wanted the ACT. I guess it all depends on which school you try for. In NC all they do is push the SAT because its required for UNC and NC State.
Chris "TunkeyMicket" Watford
[ Parent ]
I dont understand admissions... (2.00 / 7) (#9)
by dipierro on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 10:42:32 PM EST

If I want to learn, and I'm willing to pay you, why won't you let me?

I guess I could see if you're a private college like Harvard or something, but if you're a public institution, just build more buildings and hire more professors.

Public institutions (none / 0) (#13)
by fluffy grue on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 11:16:49 PM EST

Most public institutions will admit pretty much anyone who has at least a 2.5 GPA from high school (which is a C average). They mostly use the SAT/ACT scores for doling out merit-based scholarships. Or at least, that's the case at all of the public universities in New Mexico.
I am a happy flower.

[ Hug Your Trikuare ]
[ Parent ]

This is only true (none / 0) (#45)
by medham on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:55:51 AM EST

Of states without strong public university systems. California, North Carolina, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, and Virginia are just some examples where a 2.5 will not only not get you in the flagship but won't get you in many of the regional schools as well.

For those of you who took the SAT before 1994, remember that the average score went up 200 points due to restructuring. Factor in the 200 point lie factor when people report their scores as well.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.
[ Parent ]

Free money? (none / 0) (#32)
by X3nocide on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:02:45 AM EST

Most public universities are forced to be fairly inclusive of the local populace by state laws. However with the recent downturn in the economy, tax revenue is down and cash strapped colleges are facing less funding. Belive it or not, the two thousand a year in tuition you might pay doesn't cover much of the Uni's budget. Buildings and professors aren't cheap. Just where will the money come for all those new student accomodations? And why not give everyone a college education since we've got all this stuff to waste?

[ Parent ]
Free chicks! (none / 0) (#77)
by dipierro on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 09:49:41 AM EST

Belive it or not, the two thousand a year in tuition you might pay doesn't cover much of the Uni's budget.

I wasn't aware of that... I guess that's the first thing we've gotta fix.

For the record, I did very well on my SATs, so I'm not complaining or anything. Although, maybe I am, because I'd really like to continue my education part-time, and I don't feel like going through the hassle of applying for a major all over again. I just want to be able to look at a schedule, say "hey, there's a class I want to take," and take it.

And why not give everyone a college education since we've got all this stuff to waste?

That's pretty much what I'm saying. Not everyone, of course, because not everyone wants to go. But everyone who wants to go to college, should be able to.

[ Parent ]
university of washington (5.00 / 2) (#80)
by mpalczew on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 10:48:58 AM EST

In the state of washington if you finish a two year degree at a community college(which you are guaranteed to get into if you can afford it), you are guaranteed admission into any state university, But that is not the case for all states.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Is it guaranteed admission? (none / 0) (#94)
by JWhiton on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 03:48:44 PM EST

I took some community college courses here in Washington when I was in high school, and one of my teachers said that if you get an AA degree, it just means that the college has to consider your application (in some form or another), not that they have to let you in.

[ Parent ]
my wife did this (none / 0) (#108)
by mpalczew on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 11:39:13 AM EST

I'm not sure on the details, but I've never heard of anyone with an AA that they got in washington, not get in.  My wife knew all the details as that is what she did, and she said they have to accept you.  There may be a minimum gpa requirement, but it is probably in the 2.0-2.5 range if it exists.
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Florida too (none / 0) (#96)
by mattbelcher on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:06:24 PM EST

This is also the case in the state of Florida. Every high school graduate or GED holder can go to community college, and every CC graduate gets into any university. In addition, the Legislature recently passed a measure to guarantee the top 20% of students of every high school admission into at least one of our 4 year universities, regardless of SAT score.

[ Parent ]
Aren't they asking for essays in order to ... (3.50 / 6) (#21)
by pyramid termite on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 11:52:15 PM EST

... judge whether the prospective student can actually write? I don't think the essays are going to graded on what they say as much as how well they say it. And that's not a totally subjective matter. The difference between an essay written by someone who can write their thoughts out in an understandable manner and those who can't should be obvious - at least, it's fairly obvious on K5, isn't it?

Next thing you know, someone will demand we quit grading (moderating) the little essays we find here because it's subjective. Forgive me for pointing this out, but life is not a true or false quiz, or multiple choice - it's more like an essay, or a verbal presentation, or a lab workshop. In short, it is subjective, and college students being adults, it's about time they got used to the idea that they will be judged subjectively, that some of the subjective people judging them are going to be damned unfair about it, and that the best defense is basic competence and getting along with enough people that they are willing to be subjective in your favor.

In short, I think adding essays to the SAT is a good idea.
On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
Well (5.00 / 1) (#22)
by BloodmoonACK on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 11:57:02 PM EST

An important thing to note is that there ARE differences in what they look at; I believe the news clip on NPR said that men are more concerned about the logic of the argument while women are more concerned with grammar, etc.; so one group of people are concerned with what you are saying (i.e., are you making sense?) and the other group is concerned with the technical correctness of the writing. The point is, someone who has a somewhat sloppy argument but very good grammar may get a 600 rating from the male but a 720 from the female (as an example)...this is a huge difference, and altogether imaginable.

"It's like declaring a 'war on crime' and then claiming every (accused) thief is an 'enemy combatant'." - Hizonner
[ Parent ]

Both logic and grammar should be graded (nt) (1.00 / 1) (#24)
by pyramid termite on Sun Jun 30, 2002 at 11:58:21 PM EST

On the Internet, anyone can accuse you of being a dog.
[ Parent ]
Sure, but consistently (none / 0) (#28)
by BloodmoonACK on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 12:15:36 AM EST

The point in my post was that men and women grade, even if subconciously, differently.

"It's like declaring a 'war on crime' and then claiming every (accused) thief is an 'enemy combatant'." - Hizonner
[ Parent ]

The obvious reply (4.50 / 2) (#88)
by X3nocide on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:29:19 PM EST

I believe its high time we ridded ourselves of this fancy rating system on k5. The entire mojo system only serves to reinforce the culture of the few "trusted users" and suppress the introduction of new ideas. The 1 through 5 system is entirely abused as well. Values 2, 4 and to a lesser extent 3 are assigned less and are simply filler values. In addition, it seems that zero scores are overabused as well. Whether people like E r i c are content-free is in the mind of the reader. I would imagine that Eminem fans (of which there are plenty) would find his comments to contain content. It is for these reasons that I suggest we use ideological profiling to reward right wing (often known as "trolls") a high rating on occasion. This system helps to ensure a diversity of ideas, which Arthur Mill argues is nessecary for any free community.

[ Parent ]
My take on the issue (5.00 / 5) (#29)
by chrisq on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 12:17:50 AM EST

I will be a high school junior in the Fall, and I agree that the SAT does not serve its purpose very well. However, I don't feel this way merely out of contempt for the test itself, (as many people do) because I usually score extremely high on standardized tests as it is. Migrating completely away from the SAT, though, is not the best solution. Rather, colleges looking for competent students should lessen the SAT's weight and increase the weight of other nationally recognized tests (many of which are also produced by the College Board). Advanced Placement tests, although I've only taken a few, seem to be very good at testing understanding and application of more advanced subject matter.

The proposed changes to the math section of the SAT reflect the importance of upper(ish) math in college preparedness, but the SAT II Math tests already address that issue admirably. And, as the story notes, the added writing section is very similar to the current SAT II Writing test. So, the College Board is not actually modifying its testing material that greatly; rather, it is simply consolidating important elements of its lesser-known tests into its flagship product, so to speak. This 'all-in-one' approach to the new test worries me (for future test takers, as I won't be taking this 'modified' test at all; it won't be administered until 2005). I think that the individual tests designed for higher level math, writing, etc. should be used to gauge those skills instead of throwing it all together.

If what colleges want are subject tests, they should require more SAT II / AP tests, and the College Board should make an attempt to shine more light on those tests instead of trying to revitalize a product that doesn't need any more attention.

Ap tests aren't a good solution... (1.00 / 1) (#34)
by TheOnlyCoolTim on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:05:55 AM EST

They are WAY too hardcore for the average high school student....

"We are trapped in the belly of this horrible machine, and the machine is bleeding to death."
[ Parent ]

Bah. (3.00 / 4) (#37)
by paine in the ass on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:20:28 AM EST

I got a 5 on every AP test I took; if you even pay attention through half of an AP class, you pass the test. The folks who didn't pass it in my classes were the self-involved idiots who just bitched and moaned the whole time - "you expect us to read things? God, that will so interfere with my social life" and so on.

I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

Wacky (none / 0) (#49)
by Cant Say on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:15:08 AM EST

It seems like claiming to have done well on standardized tests gets you downvoted around here.

But I couldn't agree more, the AP tests were pretty easy. But I must admit they do much better at measuring knowledge than does the SAT.

"A quiet milquetoast who wears cardigan sweaters and enjoys billiard matches while sipping single-malt whiskey." --kitten
[ Parent ]

Indeed. (2.00 / 1) (#53)
by paine in the ass on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:38:29 AM EST

I got a 5 on the AP Calculus AB exam, got to college, and was told that if not for school policy, I would have gotten two credits out of it; we covered material equivalent to the Calc I and Calc II college courses combined.

AP Lit was useful too...I can comp out of intro to literary criticism if I ever decide to take English courses.

But while they were challenging classes, I wouldn't call them "hardcore"; I took a class that counted double (senior high-school history and HIST 215 at a local university), and it was 20th century American History taught by a Chomsky fan...that was hardcore.

I will dress in bright and cheery colors, and so throw my enemies into confusion.
[ Parent ]

AP (2.00 / 1) (#111)
by m3000 on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 07:54:21 PM EST

I whole heartly agree. I got 5's and 4's on all 7 AP tests I took my Junior and Senior years, and they really aren't too hard if you study and learn the material as you go. But so many kids complained about the reading or actually having to do the homework. AP tests aren't for everyone, but I do think it's a great indicator for how well you'll do in college.

[ Parent ]
Let's LOWER that pesky standard (3.66 / 3) (#51)
by Cant Say on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:20:40 AM EST

Cry me a river. Not everyone is supposed to do well, damnit. I'm freaking sick of schools that adjust 'the bar' to the lowest common denominator. Screw it. Start expecting something from the kids, and you'll be surprised who can perform.

That's what I love about college now. If you don't want to learn, get the fuck out. I had some teachers that approached that attitude in class, and they got the most out of the students. You'd be amazed (or at least I was) at how often people surpass expectations, when the actually have them. And I mean really have them from a teacher that cares, not some damn state standard that means nothing because it tries to mean everything. Think of Jaime Escalante, popularized in the movie Stand and Deliver, and featured in numerous documentaries. He had expectations dammit, and screw you if you wern't going to work in his class.

Raise the bar
"A quiet milquetoast who wears cardigan sweaters and enjoys billiard matches while sipping single-malt whiskey." --kitten
[ Parent ]

ap classes (none / 0) (#78)
by mpalczew on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 10:42:41 AM EST

For AP tests to be applicable, your school has to have ap classes, that puts those living in wealthier neighborhoods at a greater advantage as those high schools tend to offer many more ap classes.  
-- Death to all Fanatics!
[ Parent ]
Are SATs multi-choice? (3.71 / 7) (#55)
by ecc on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 02:50:59 AM EST

  I've gathered from reading comments that these SAT tests are entirely multi-choiced, with perhaps 4-5 answers.  So basically, if you don't know the answer to a question, you still have a 20-25% chance of guessing it correctly?  Furthermore, if you can eliminate answers which are clearly wrong, then you increase the chances that you guess correctly to 33-50%?  And if you manage, via process of elimination, to eliminate all the impossible answers, then you've got the correct answer, basically by going backwards?

  Isn't that a failing in itself?  It seems that SATs aren't actually testing the skill in a subject insofar as they're testing your luck, logic and creative application of the process of elimination.

  Of course, this is based on the assumption that SATs are multi-choiced, which may be wrong (I've never sat nor seen an SAT in my life).

Always look on the bright side of death,
Just before you draw your terminal breath...

Yep, they are multi-choice (4.00 / 1) (#60)
by khym on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 03:32:26 AM EST

So basically, if you don't know the answer to a question, you still have a 20-25% chance of guessing it correctly?
Yes. However, getting a wrong answer subtracts from your raw score, and things are balanced out so that if you guess completely at random, you'll get a raw score of 0 (which translates to a "cooked" score of 200).
It seems that SATs aren't actually testing the skill in a subject insofar as they're testing your luck, logic and creative application of the process of elimination.
I think that this would apply to any test that's scored by machines: if you make the test simple enough for a machine to score, than there'll be tricks you can use to improve your score.

Give a man a match, and he'll be warm for a minute, but set him on fire, and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
[ Parent ]
Raw scores (none / 0) (#110)
by vectro on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 12:35:34 PM EST

(this information is current as of 1998.)

On the math test, you are correct - a raw score of zero maps to a cooked score of 200, and a perfect raw score maps to a cooked score of 800.

However, on the English test, depending on the year and form you recieve, the 200 score is reserved for negative raw scores. That is to say, in order to score a 200 you have to do worse than random guessing. Similarly, you can get an 800 without a perfect raw score.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Yep, and..... (none / 0) (#81)
by Elkor on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 11:03:05 AM EST

(at least up until '96) the most common answer for an SAT question was "C" (the answers were labeled A-E). I believe that C was the correct answer 40-50% of the time.

So, if you didn't know the answer, and wanted to guess, you would guess C and be right 40% of the time.


"I won't tell you how to love God if you don't tell me how to love myself."
-Margo Eve
[ Parent ]
That's the point of the test (3.00 / 1) (#85)
by lordsutch on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 11:26:22 AM EST

Isn't that a failing in itself? It seems that SATs aren't actually testing the skill in a subject insofar as they're testing your luck, logic and creative application of the process of elimination.
The entire point of the SAT is to test your logic and ability to eliminate implausible alternatives. A basic comprehension of logic is the foundation of academic success; if you don't understand such wonderful concepts as causality and logical relationships, you're going to flunk out of college. At least you will if you're in my classes.

Linux CDs. Schuyler Fisk can sell me long distance anytime.
[ Parent ]

Wrong answers count against the result (none / 0) (#87)
by pla on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:58:31 PM EST

Each wrong answer detracts from the final score. The instructions advise not to take any guesses, for that very reason.

However, if the test-taker can rule out even one option, then guessing will indeed help their score. When I took it (waaay back inna win'er of '92), I found that at least two options usually looked absurd, and ruling out a third took relatively little thought. That gives a realistic chance of 50/50 for guessing (For the verbal section... In the math section, the test-taker could "solve" a good number of questions quickly just by plugging in each of the possible answers and seeing which one worked... not the way they want it done, but more reliable and faster).

Interestingly enough, a 50/50 chance didn't seem good enough, because the year *after* I took the SAT, they "revised" it, which, from everyone I know who has taken it since them, means "made it a hell of a lot easier".

[ Parent ]
Basically correct (4.00 / 1) (#90)
by epepke on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 03:20:43 PM EST

Although wrong answers do count against one.

As with all multiple-choice tests, probably the best strategy is to understand the psychology of the kind of people who write these kinds of tests.

The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

[ Parent ]
SAT Predictions (4.33 / 6) (#58)
by duxup on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 03:03:28 AM EST

I recall a documentary on PBS a while back regarding the SATs and other issues regarding collage entrance exams.  They made an interesting discovery about the ability of the SATs to predict collage performance.  

They found that after sophomore year there was almost no connection between SAT scores and the students performance in collage.  In fact you could better predict collage performance by sex (i.e. females on average get better grades in collage than males) rather than going by SAT scores.

OT (and nitpicky, sorry) - collEge (none / 0) (#61)
by fraise on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 05:18:47 AM EST

A "collage" is:
1. An artistic composition of materials and objects pasted over a surface, often with unifying lines and color.
2. A work, such as a literary piece, composed of both borrowed and original material.
2. The art of creating such compositions.
3. An assemblage of diverse elements: a collage of conflicting memories.

It's funny to read your comment with these definitions in mind :) (I mean "funny" in a nice way!) The correct spelling here is "college" though - just so you know in the future.

[ Parent ]
My spelling sucks (none / 0) (#63)
by duxup on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:25:51 AM EST

[ Parent ]
after sophomore year (3.50 / 2) (#74)
by wiredog on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 09:21:29 AM EST

Which implies that the tests do have some predictive ability for success during freshman year. If you don't succeed during freshman year, you won't have a sophomore year. So a test that causes people who won't make it through freshman year to be excluded is doing its job.

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.
[ Parent ]
To a point (none / 0) (#107)
by duxup on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 08:46:46 PM EST

Considering the increasing focus on improving graduation rates at nearly all universities the value of only predicting initial performance might be very limited.

[ Parent ]
Tests (5.00 / 1) (#62)
by Rainy on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:10:45 AM EST

We want to test, ultimately, what kind of job the student will do well in the future; and how well exactly.

The only way to test that, IMHO, would be to have a student do some sort of project where you don't have any clear predefined path, but have to look into many sources, do some reading, do some searching in the library, some math or physics or chemistry, and come up with a well rounded project that works.

As far as I understand we have this sort of thing but it's seen as very secondary to tests or grades and nobody takes these things seriously except for top 0.001% who are trying to win some prize.

You may say that rating of these projects would be highly subjective.. Yeah, that's true, but so are our eventual jobs, for the most part.

I'd much prefer a very subjective measurement that has some relation to what we're looking for in the end rather than a 100% objective test that measures stuff we won't need at all.
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day

What you are describing (none / 0) (#79)
by theR on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 10:48:35 AM EST

Is called "school."

[ Parent ]
Job? (5.00 / 1) (#84)
by Kasreyn on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 11:25:26 AM EST

Whatever happened to the ideal of education preparing a person for life in general?

I thought we had "community colleges" to fulfill the role of schools that just prepare average-intelligence drones for their shitty little 9-5 jobs. True education is for people who want to DO something with their lives.

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Ehh? (none / 0) (#103)
by Rainy on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 11:57:56 PM EST

*blink*. Are you answering to my post? What do shitty little 9-5 jobs have have to do with, in my post "complete projects that involve some reading, searching through libraries, some math, physics or chemistry, and end up in something complete and useful"?

Community colleges, iirc, do the same standard memorize/pass a test routine, but there's less memorizing and tests are far less taxing.

I'm talking about 180 degree change of approach.
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]

I hate essays (5.00 / 1) (#64)
by auraslip on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:45:45 AM EST

They are so subjective. Also I fall under this class some what:
Many believe that schizotypal personality disorder represents mild schizophrenia. The disorder is characterized by odd forms of thinking and perceiving, and individuals with this disorder often seek isolation from others. They generally engage in eccentric behavior and have difficulty concentrating for long periods of time. Their speech is often over elaborate and difficult to follow.

Note the last senctance and I DO write oddly. I also have horrible spelling. So essays allways fuck me over. For example on the GED, I made almost a perfect score (666<it's intresting to note that you only need a 300 over all to pass and the highest you can get is a 700>), but on the essay I made a low score, 69ish. I wrote about copyright. To political. Maybe just bad grammer. And then last week, I took the tasp (for college admitance, it's a placment test) and scroed a 110 on sentance skills, but a 4 (out of 8 I think) on the essay.
The point is I would rather trust a computer to judge me then a person who sits at a desk all day and judges high schoolers essays.


ispell, the essay judge of the FUTURE (none / 0) (#71)
by xriso on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 08:43:05 AM EST

You still make a bunch of spelling mistakes. I hope those are typos and not brainos.
*** Quits: xriso:#kuro5hin (Forever)
[ Parent ]
+1 section, cause it's inevitable... (4.00 / 6) (#69)
by porkchop_d_clown on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 08:31:55 AM EST

I know this will get voted up because the SAT is so fresh in the minds of so many K5 readers; but I'd like to point out that despite the anti-SAT rhetoric is does fullfill it's function well: it is designed to predict what a student's freshman grades will be and hey, guess what - it does.

There is no such thing as a true IQ test, it's true. But if a kid can't pass a simple exam based on simple math and language, how do you expect him to survive college?

BTW - just to be upfront: This piece of poor white trash scored 1380 on his SATs in 1981. No coaching. One try - no repeats. Good enough to get me into Drexel.


Pre-SAT admissions criteria (3.00 / 6) (#75)
by wiredog on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 09:34:05 AM EST

White male protestant, in the first group.
White male Catholic, group two
Jewish. Sorry, the quota is full. (Read Feynman's books)
Black. Forget it.
Asian. Maybe in California.

The SAT may not be perfect, but it does provide some objectivity.

Can't sleep. The clowns will get me.

Unreliable tests etc. (none / 0) (#82)
by Blaest on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 11:07:27 AM EST

Almost any type of test will inevitably be biased in some way, there is simply no way around it though some types less so than others.

Maybe slightly OT, but here in the UK some argue that tests are becoming increasingly biased towards females since they are focusing more on memorisation than anything else. (you could spend years arguing over whether or not it is really the case that women are better at this!). The idea is that supposedly boys are better at getting the bigger picture while not big on details.

Anyway, I am just making the point that others have made that creating unbiased tests is very difficult·

More relevant perhaps: it will always be difficult to test something like English without some luck being a variable since the only way to test it, IMO, is by essays, which are unreliable as others have commented on.

Finally any type of test is susceptible to coaching, I cannot think of anything that you can not be coached in. The solution is not to dumb down or test in increasingly odd ways to try to remove bias but to improve public education!

Bias, and the purpose of a test. (none / 0) (#109)
by vectro on Wed Jul 03, 2002 at 12:23:30 PM EST

I take issue with your assertion that "every test is biased". Bias, in a statistical sense, is when a test deviates from reality in some systematic way. For example, if you were trying to sample world opinions, and tried a telephone survey, the results would be biased, because you would systematically exclude most of Africa.

The SAT purports to measure future success in college. It is easy enough to see if the test is biased: If one group in particular does better or worse on the SAT that at college, to an extent greater than the whole, then the test is biased.

Note that amongst other things, this allows the SAT to have e.g., different results for the two genders.

“The problem with that definition is just that it's bullshit.” -- localroger
[ Parent ]

Some misconceptions about the SAT (4.75 / 4) (#83)
by Irobot on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 11:12:35 AM EST

1. The SAT was not established as a "white" tool of elitism. Just the opposite, actually. Please look into the history of the SAT before making ignorant claims. From the link:
Conant explicitly said in his writings, 'these people would be no better than anybody else.' They would not get any special privileges. It would horrify him to see the way in which people regard getting high test scores and getting selected for these universities as a kind of way to get stuff--to get the goodies in America. That is not what the system was built for.
The SAT was established for exactly the opposite reason - it was meant to give non-elites a chance to compete for admission by providing some objective measure of a student's academic "fitness."

2. The SAT is not meant to be the yardstick that determines whether someone will get admission. It is meant to be a factor - possibly a small one at that. A student's extra-curricular activities, their teacher recommendations, their past academic performance should play an equal (if not greater) part in the admissions process. The schools that take the easy way out by not taking the time to thoroughly look at a candidate are at fault. It's a hell of a lot more cost-efficient to sort a database of numbers than it is to actually delve into a student's history.

3. The SAT is not meant to "predict a student's success" in school. It is supposed to provide a measure of basic skills - does the applicant have a good vocabulary? Can they do basic algebra? Can they read a passage and pick out relevant information quickly?

The SAT does serve some purpose - surely, anyone would agree that having a command of the English language is necessary for a degree that requires intensive reading (such as English). And that basic algebra and geometry is necessary for any technical field (such as Engineering). The SAT provides some objective measure of a student's capabilities at the time they take it. Clearly, a school in the most competitive class has more difficult coursework than your local community college. Isn't it in their interest to "weed out" people that would otherwise have to take remedial courses? Isn't it the student's interest also?

Yes, there are problems. Originally, it was thought that there would be no way to prepare for the SAT. Obviously, this is wrong. Originally, the SAT wasn't supposed to be culturally biased to favor a particular group. Whether it is or not is up for debate - having not only taken the SAT but also having taught an SAT prep course, I personally don't think it is. Maybe that's my own (unconscious) bias showing. Either way, the SAT does most of what it is supposed to do - provide some objective measure by which a school can compare applicants.


The one important thing I have learned over the years is the difference between taking one's work seriously and taking one's self seriously. The first is imperative and the second is disastrous. -- Margot Fonteyn

SAT is moot (4.33 / 3) (#86)
by magus123x on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 01:18:24 PM EST


You know what schools I didn't apply to and never would? The ones that weighed my SAT score heavily.

Your class rank means crap too. I was 69th (weighted, also I had become very lazy) out of a class of 600-700 seniors. I scored a 1280 on the SAT. I was accepted to Carnegie Mellon but the valedictorian wasn't (despite a high 1400s as well). I got a $15K scholarship to WPI while people with higher ranks and scores didn't. Some had relatives that were alums, while I have few older relatives that even graduated high school.

Granted, I go to the state-school part-time instead, largely because it's completely paid for by the office. Why rack up 100K in debt when I can have great resume material, save for a house, and enjoy a new sports car or two in the meantime?

I did the minimum to get As in high school and kept my first decent SAT score. I was a complete bum. Why stress and fret when you don't have to? I used to be #6, but I'd sacrifice most all my free time. I don't regret my decision either. Don't worry about the stupid test, you'll do fine regardless.

private school (none / 0) (#102)
by j1mmy on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 11:53:05 PM EST

I went to a pricey private school. I was robbed. The classroom instruction was nowhere near as useful as reading textbooks and doing individual and group projects. The student newspaper has a number of editorials at the end of every year, all dealing with the same subject: Why is that piece of paper so expensive?

[ Parent ]
Sounds more like consolidation to me. (2.00 / 2) (#91)
by pschap on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 03:24:13 PM EST

When I was applying to college (about 7 years ago) the vast majority of the "good" schools that I applied to required both the SAT's and 3 SAT II exams including the SAT II writing exam. From what I remember the SAT II writing exam was an essay and a bunch of reading comprehension questions. That sounds and awful lot like what they're now adding to the regular SAT's.

"In 1991, we had almost nothing. We'd only begun building cocks. After just 10 years, we have a very robust, active cock."

Read the article... (2.00 / 3) (#92)
by normiep on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 03:28:39 PM EST

...numb nuts.

Point? None! Cob.
[ Parent ]

Arg... (none / 0) (#93)
by pschap on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 03:29:50 PM EST

...good point. Just ignore me.

"In 1991, we had almost nothing. We'd only begun building cocks. After just 10 years, we have a very robust, active cock."

[ Parent ]
Kaplan and Coaching (5.00 / 2) (#97)
by CarryTheZero on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 06:07:02 PM EST

I read a great arcticle about this in the New Yorker a while back, though it doesn't seem to be on their site or in Google's cache. Anyway, it made a couple interesting points:
  1. At the time the SATs were introduced, a major worry was the high rate at which Jews were getting into Ivy Leage schools. It was thought that these students were "grinds" who made up for their lack of ability with obsessive memorization. Thus, there was the need for an "ability" test to weed these students out.
  2. For decades, ETS denied that the SATs are coachable, despite the obvious success that people like Stanley Kaplan were having coaching students on the SAT.
At this point, it looks like ETS has admitted the obvious and is trying to make the test less coachable. However, the real issue is the SAT's lack of predictive validity, which will probably lead to most schools dropping it in the end.

You said I'd wake up dead drunk / alone in the park / I called you a liar / but how right you were
iTunes users: want to download album artwork automatically? Now you can.
I'm disturbed at the loss of the analogies..... (4.60 / 5) (#98)
by artsygeek on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 07:45:13 PM EST

I'm disturbed at the loss of the analogies because I think it signals a further erosion in logical thought AND vocabulary. I also think that, due to the essay portion being added that it will become even more biased towards certain socio-economic groups. The grading of the essays in terms of grammar and structure and clarity will be biased towards certain dialects....

For example, in one college, three different professors can have completely different opinions on the grammatical correctness of certain structures. This is due to different logical structures that the professors think in and different cognitive "dialects". The whole point of grammar is to make sure that something can be understood and MAKE SENSE. Some rules of grammar, in the eyes of many linguists, no longer apply, or no longer hold the same relevance ("that/which" is a GREAT example). A "living" language has grammar that evolves and changes, and develops more and more labyrinthine rules which cause older rules to die out. Eventually, the number of rules decrease and the language "grows" in size. Primitive languages on the other hand have PLENTY of rules and PLENTY of types of structures. A book that illustrates this is The Power of Babel....

for god's sake get real (1.12 / 8) (#101)
by parasite on Mon Jul 01, 2002 at 10:35:14 PM EST

Why do you people continue to reject reality ? What is with your idiotic socio-economic garbage arguments ? Why do you continue  to think that we should all be treated as equal, only because (in your twisted mind) we "are" actually all equal; as in being some sort of identical clones all with the same abililties ? POOR PEOPLE are fucking stupid, why do you think they are poor ? Poor children inherited inferior genes from their stupid parents, and thus should be expected to score low on intelligence tests.  Get a fucking clue.

It's not quite as simple as you paint it (3.50 / 2) (#104)
by cestmoi on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 09:33:04 AM EST

Poor children inherited inferior genes from their stupid parents, and thus should be expected to score low on intelligence tests.

Conant, the Harvard President who initiated the SAT, did so because too many rich kids that were coming to Harvard were dumb as fence posts. He figured that there ought to be kids who didn't have rich parents who had a lot more on the ball than the silver-spooned students. Turned out he was right and the SAT helped Harvard identify them.

I support the SAT's use but I've got to admit I was surprised that it correlated as poorly with freshman grades as U.C. Berkeley claims.

It's entirely possible that the ETS screwed up in 96 when they dumbed the test down.

[ Parent ]

YHBT. (1.00 / 1) (#105)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 01:07:54 PM EST

Didn't the phrase "they're poor because they're stupid" give you a hint?


[ Parent ]
Poor != Stupid (3.00 / 1) (#106)
by Kintanon on Tue Jul 02, 2002 at 01:23:28 PM EST

My parents were poor. I got a 1450 on the SAT, (Perfect Verbal, 650 math) and am well on my way to a promising sysadmin career. My parents are both very intelligent, but they made decisions early in their lives which affected them negatively for many years.
On the other side of the coin, they don't have a mortgage, or a bunch of credit card debt, or anything like that. Their networth is now considerably higher than some of my wealthier relatives who have a lot of debt.


[ Parent ]

SATs to Become Even More Unreliable | 111 comments (83 topical, 28 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:


All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest © 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!