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This is hilarious. Although unlike this guy, I'm pretty sure I would do worse if I were to take the SAT again now. What about you?
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Peter Teoh's profile photoBetsy McCall's profile photoChris Brew's profile photoMatthew Hurst's profile photo
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In high school, I got a 630 on Verbal and 560 on Math on the SAT. When I took the GRE 8 or 9 years later, I got a 630 on Verbal on 640 on Math. I felt pretty good about myself.
 
I'm definitely not as book smart as I used to be.
 
There never used to be a lot of "book smart" things on the SAT; mostly it mimicked an IQ test. But now, the mean is higher, and it can't be used to stand in for an IQ test anymore: there is a lot more factual stuff on it than thinking stuff. Kinda defeats the purpose if you ask me. But given the change in the mean since I took it, I could probably sleep through it and pull out a higher score, especially since the last time I took it I was only 15. My GRE scores were all significantly higher than my SAT, I mean, like by hundreds of points each.
 
My suspicion about the SAT when I took it at age 16 was that it measured absolutely nothing of relevance. This made me extremely anxious when I scored well enough that people made a fuss over it (I was one of those kids whose score landed him in the local newspaper). This article is a great reminder of the pointless waste of time that is the average American childhood.
 
I have the opportunity to take it for the first time in middle age and do poorly at it.
 
I'm older than Matt, and the SAT is in my future. The long term plan is that SAT will be delivered by computer, at which point ETS will be involved in design of items for the tests and my colleagues and I will be writing the automated scoring software. I was surprised that the SAT is not currently computer delivered, but there are good reasons. You have to deliver the same test to thousands of test centers, some in rich neighborhoods with well-equipped schools, others in every decent-sized place in the country, and you have to do this while being responsible about test security and fairness. Contra the author, the Scantron and the pencil and paper essay are good practical solutions, even though they seem laughable. There are other surprises when you start to think about tests as a deployment problem, and understand the scale. There is a rich market for the first start-up to make an equation editor that (a) is usable without training, and (b) capable of running on the machines that schools actually have.
 
+Chris Brew When I took the GRE in 1996, it was via computer but I had to visit a testing center two hours away to do it. All the guides I read at the time were adamant that you shouldn't go that route but I found it a much more pleasant experience than my previous testing experiences.
 
Yep. The GRE is computer delivered, and there is a big push to do that whenever possible. My colleagues who arrange the GRE are doing an amazing job. Glad it was relatively pleasant.
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