Debut of the new SAT

Today is the first day of the new SAT exam, which includes a 25-minute essay. The Christian Science Monitor asks: How will the text-messaging generation do?

The SAT has undergone the broadest revision in its 80-year history – and perhaps foremost among the changes, and the challenges on students’ minds, is a 25-minute, two-page essay worth a possible 800 points. To some, it’s demonic; to others, a nuisance. To a few, it’s a barometer of the state of adolescent prose in the age of the Internet as myriad types of writing compete with the letters of yore.

Though plenty of adults grumble about e-mail and instant-messaging (IM), and the text messages that send adolescent thumbs dancing across cellphone keypads, many experts insist that teenage composition is as strong as ever – and that the proliferation of writing, in all its harried, hasty forms, has actually created a generation more adept with the written word.

The story also quotes a girl who complains the essay questions are “kind of dumb.”

She recalls a sample question: What is your view of the claim that history is made not only by the actions of great leaders, but also by the contributions of average people? “I don’t know or care if contributions are made by leaders or average people,” she says.

Why bother with college if you don’t want to think?

About Joanne

Comments

  1. Because going to college means you can get a good job. DUH! =)

  2. Walter E. Wallis says:

    Going, or graduating from?

  3. Lou Gots says:

    One wonders whether the girl written of is more limited by her ignorance or her apathy.

  4. Matthew Tabor got it right on the first guess. May I add a few suggestions for improving the business of higher education in this country?

    Why not eliminate the ridiculous classes? Let the prospective graduates plunk down their $250,000, $300,000, or what have you, give them their diplomas and let them be on their way.
    Dramatic cost reductions could be achieved by eliminating pesky faculties.
    No dorms, cafeterias, student unions, libraries, or other such encumbrances.
    While we’re at it higher tuitions could probably be secured by having prospective “students” bid for the diplomas auction-style.

    Then we’d be getting somewhere.

  5. BadaBing says:

    Awesome essay topic I’d love to tackle myself.

  6. greeneyeshade says:

    Remember Groucho Marx, as Quincy Adams Wagstaff, new president of Huxley College, questioning the faculty in ‘Horsefeathers’?
    Groucho: Do we have a stadium?
    Professors: Yes.
    Groucho: Do we have a college?
    Professors: Yes.
    Groucho: Well, we can’t afford both. Tomorrow we start tearing down the college.
    Professors: But Professor! Where will the students sleep?
    Groucho: Where they always sleep, in the classrooms!

  7. The CSM said this?

    The SAT has undergone the broadest revision in its 80-year history – and perhaps foremost among the changes, and the challenges on students’ minds, is a 25-minute, two-page essay worth a possible 800 points.

    Wow. I’ve rarely seen it be that sloppy.

    An essay has been added to the test, but it alone is not worth 800 points. Basically, the whole SAT II: Writing test was integrated with the doctored SAT I. Writing section is worth 800 points total, but it consists of the essay and a separate section of grammar/usage/mechanics questions.

  8. Different River says:

    Lou Gots comments: “One wonders whether the girl written of is more limited by her ignorance or her apathy.”

    I can only think of one appropriate response to this: I don’t know, and I don’t care!

    😉

  9. John from OK says:

    I must agree with the girl. The question is vague and will reward students who can use 500 words to say absolutely nothing. On second thought, it is a great opportunity to write about your “ordinary” single mother who works at the homeless shelter and thus obviously affects history more than the male dominated oligarchy.