Wednesday, April 13, 2005


SAT scores: 2400 is the new 1600 (emphasis added)
"I put in my left contact lens and blinked a couple times and saw a little Post-it note, and it said just one thing: 2400," Weiss said Tuesday.

"I just leaned my head out and screamed at the top of my lungs and said, 'Are you serious?"' She was.

First of all, I'm not quite sure you can take seriously any standardized test that allows you to get a perfect score on it. There's no way a college can compare a 2400 to another 2400. Scores at the upper edge just become meaningless.

I knew several people who got 1600 on the "old" SAT's. You know what they're doing today? Exactly the same thing everyone else is doing. You know what colleges they got into? Exactly the same colleges everyone else got into. In fact, one of them was denied from MIT because there were too many Chinese students there already. He went to Berkeley instead; poor kid... (don't worry -- I think he became an Electrical Engineer, so he's probably better off there anyway)

Next, clearly the kid from the article has not been properly challenged, and because of this he has some pretty screwy priorities. He apparently also has trouble with the concepts of "inside voice" and "outside voice."

Now, it's pretty obvious that this kid was surprised about his score. How can you take a test seriously that warrants this much surprise?

I liked the GRE's. It made sense. It's a computerized test that assumes an average score and keeps giving you harder and harder questions until you get one wrong. With each new question, you are awarded (or penalized) with less points. This allows them to converge on a score that hopefully means something. However, the analytical test scores are biased very high (I think 5% of all test takers get an 800/800), so there probably needs to be an adjustment there.

You know what I also liked about the GRE's? No one remembers their scores. Maybe that just means I like GRE test takers more than SAT test takers... But I think it says something either way.

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