TEST TAKING TITANS





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Discus: SAT/ACT Tests and Test Preparation: June 2004 Archive: TEST TAKING TITANS
By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 02:11 pm: Edit

People on this board have some incredible scores, and I was wondering who has the highest SAT and SAT 2 scores. People on the board please post your scores, and what you guys did to get such high scores. If you have any free time how do you guys spend it?

By Haithman (Haithman) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 02:16 pm: Edit

Just_Forget_Me has a 1600 and like 3-4 800's.

By Albertfermat (Albertfermat) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 04:22 pm: Edit

i have 1540 and 5 800s

By Collegewannabe (Collegewannabe) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 04:25 pm: Edit

haithman what did u get on the june test

By Welshie (Welshie) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 04:26 pm: Edit

Memememe has the highest combined (1600 + 6 800s on SAT IIs).

By Feuler (Feuler) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 04:34 pm: Edit

SAT I 800M, 790V
SAT II 800 Math IIC, 790 Writing, 780 World Hist.

I also have friends who have gotten 1600 and 3 800s, and similarly high scores, and I think the main issue is mindset. If you come at each question absolutely determined to nail it, you increase your chances of doing so.

Also, I find it helps to think of testing as the easy and trivial jumping through hoops that it is. People get the impression you have to work hard and be committed to test well. You don't. Standardized testing is a stupid process that unforunately you have to do to move on to more interesting things. So look at it pragmatically. Figure out what exactly you need to do, and do it. Don't dwell on it.

I do what I like to do in my free time. I swim over ten hours a week, hang out with friends, play video games, whatever. You don't need to think about tests all the time to crush them.

Also, the bottom line is that tests are not very fair or effective. Smart, hard-working people often score low. Stupid, lazy slackers often score high. So it is best to just look at it realistically, focus in and get the highest possible score, and then stop thinking about it, because there is nothing more that can be done anyway. There are better things to think about.

By Entropicgirl (Entropicgirl) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 05:07 pm: Edit

1600/800writing/800physics/770IIC

I didn't stress too much (studied enough to be familiar with the format, went over my old tests enough to show me that HEY, MAYBE I SHOULD READ THE QUESTIONS so I don't get them wrong, and went through the "curriculum" for the physics, but didn't really stress or cram for them).

And I have waaaaay too much spare time, which I spend hanging out with friends, doing computer stuff (websites, video editing), playing violin, taking leisurely walks, reading (novels, physics books), occasionally volunteering...and sleeping somewhere from 3-10 hours per day depending on what I feel like. Pretty much the same stuff anyone else my age does.

By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 06:02 pm: Edit

do you guys get into any college you want with these scores.

By Arsalan (Arsalan) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 06:38 pm: Edit

wat did u get sk6488?

By Justice (Justice) on Thursday, June 24, 2004 - 10:38 pm: Edit

1590.800*4

I have a ton of free time. I travel, hang out, play games, sports, online, you know. Lately i've been playing a lot of Warcraft3.

By Just_Forget_Me (Just_Forget_Me) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 12:02 am: Edit

Ahh! Haithman, thanks! You're something of a "Test Titan" yourself.

Anyway, I'd like to echo a lot of what everyone before me has said. The SATs were not a big part of my life. Last year, I didn't need to do anything for US Hist, because it was right after the AP test. I did a practice test for IIc (out of the PR book, I think), to make sure the crappy online math I've been taking hadn't turned me into a total idiot.

For SATs I had the PR book (my dad loves buying them for me), but I didn't look at it much. I did 2 or so real SATs in the week before the test.

For Writing this June, I had some prep book (kaplan?), and I did a bit of grammar practice stuff for it. I read over the essay section too, but I don't think that really helped me.

Don't take this as me saying that these books are the best, or that this is the best way to get good scores. I doubt that my half baked attempt at "prep" did much to change my scores, I've been a good test taker for as long as I can remember. Feuler makes a good point, the people who get 1600s and stuff usually go into the test expecting that grade, so they are confident, relaxed, and focused.

It seems like all of my free time these days goes to football, but friends, this here interweb, and you know, other ordinary stuff, get a good good portion of my day.

By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 12:47 am: Edit

I am an above average student well maybe subpar compared to people on this board.
SAT: 1410 only too it once
still have to take SAT 2's

i am trying to get some advice on what i should be doing in terms of how much time i should spend prepareing for these test myself.

By Thermodude (Thermodude) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 01:24 am: Edit

My SAT II's are fairly adequate:

800 math iic/790 Physics/770 World History

I DISAGREE completely with Fueler's statement about slackers doing good on SAT II's and hardworkers not...this statement is BOGUS ....at my school...the people who score good on SAT II"s are typically the people who take the most AP's, ENJOY learning and DO work hard. I really don't know any "slackers" who did well on their SAT II's. I myself LOVE to learn....and spend a lot of time reading and such and such. Of course, I do other stuff such as hanging out with friends, sports, and such and such. Still, where I live...its mostly the people taking AB/IB and who do work hard that do well on SAT II's (SAT II's are knowledge based tests...the only way you can score 750+ on the World History test is to actually know some World History.)

By Chatterjoy87 (Chatterjoy87) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 02:27 am: Edit

To be a real Test Titan, you should have:
240/1600/36/800*3(at least).

There are a few people who have achieved this. I know two, but they don't use CC.

Oh, and a 32 on PLAN for good measure.

By Kewlkiwi102 (Kewlkiwi102) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 10:46 am: Edit

I've got 235/1600/800*3!
good enough?

By Feuler (Feuler) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 12:39 pm: Edit

I was talking about standardized tests in general, more in reference to the SAT I and such, and I was also not saying that in general slacker do better, only hard work does not necessarily predict a good score.

This is less true on the SAT IIs, but still true. It is true that you need to know the material in order to do well on the SAT IIs, but there is also a significant test-taking ability factor involved. Also, in order to score well, you need not understand the topic or even know it very well, since all the answers are right there in front of you to jog your memory.

Typically, if a bunch of students at the exact same achievement level (measured, say, by grades or teacher evaluations) take a multiple-choice test, those that score the highest are people who have certain ways of thinking conducive to the format, which are especially present in European culture and males. That's why, for example, males score higher than females despite the fact that females do so much better in school.

Abstract arguments aside, there are statistics to show that tests are meaningless- many studies put the correlation between SAT I score and college grades at about .3, meaning less that 10 percent of variance of college grades is explained by the SAT. The correlation is only slightly higher for the SAT IIs. Furthermore, SAT score correlates more to family income than virtually all other factors (academic performance, etc.) combined.

By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 01:41 pm: Edit

so is it better to be smart or hard working?

By Justice (Justice) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 01:46 pm: Edit

The 240 on the psat is pointless because once you get past the cutoffs for NMSF, which are really easy, it doesn't matter. I had a 235, and I'm sure a lot of kids with similar scores could have gotten a 240 if they had focused during the test. No offense but the psat is a joke because you only need like a 222 at most to get something out of it. It isn't even about studying for it..it's just no one who usually scores that high goes into the psat caring about it.

To have a 36 and a 1600 is also pointless I think. I mean, it's the equivalent of getting an 800 french and 800 french w/ listening.

I would argue that SAT scores correlate with race much better than with income, although it does correlate with income too. And I think Feuler is right...test-taking is a skill in itself. There are people who are better at math than I who scored lower on the IIC. Why? Because I figured out two days before the test that you don't need to actually solve the problems to get the answers. I plugged in for probably 85%. Just_forget_me and Feuler are right...most people who do very well go into the test expecting to do very well or at least confident.

By Needhelp06 (Needhelp06) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 03:00 pm: Edit

1590/800/800/790

By Feuler (Feuler) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 03:49 pm: Edit

Sk6488, that is a real doozy of a question that could be debated at length. I don't have an answer.

However, since "intelligence" as people like to define it is constant and unchangable, thus it is futile to worry about that which you cannot change, so it is best to be a hard worker, since you can change that. Or can you? That's a whole new can of beans, too.

I am conflicted about the reverence of intelligence, which I believe is analogous to physical appearence. Clearly it is unfair to judge people on appearences, but at the same time, how can it be wrong to admire a beautiful person as you would anything else that is visually pleasing, or maybe even moving to behold?

I think in the end it comes down to two cliches, so brace yourself. First, it is best to have the combination of work ethic and intelligence that allow you to feel the best about your life and yourself. Second, we should celebrate people's positive characteristics as being good, whether they are instrinsic or achieved through hard work, but without connecting these things to the merit of the individual, e.g. celebrate intelligent people or beautiful people, without suggesting that that makes them superior as people to others.

That was a weird and mostly unrelated train of thought, but it is relevant to some of the stuff here, so I've decided to post it anyway.

By Firebird12637 (Firebird12637) on Friday, June 25, 2004 - 09:01 pm: Edit

235/1580/35/800,800,800,800,790,790/31 on PLAN, for good measure...

By Yz16 (Yz16) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 02:47 am: Edit

here i was thinking i was special.

By Jshifton (Jshifton) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 03:08 am: Edit

Feuler, are you perhaps Nathan Pflueger of Garfield High School? I know you live in Seattle and that you qualified for the USAMO, so i'm taking a guess.

The other geniuses I know from Seattle would be Adam Hesterberg and Jie Tang. I got the opportunity to sit next to Jie Tang at the Blaine Math Competition this year and he is truly an amazing individual.

By Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 03:19 am: Edit

"so is it better to be smart or hard working?"

I think it's better to be a good test taker =)

I do well enough in school but better on standardized tests. I don't love SATs, but they're kinder to me than my teachers.
800v 780m/ 800 Bio M/ 800 Writing/ 800IIC

And anyway, smart is so subjective, and one can be both smart and hardworking.

By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 03:43 pm: Edit

how do you become a good test taker?
or do you have to be born that way.

By Useatoothbrush (Useatoothbrush) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 04:23 pm: Edit

Oooh! I smell Washington state math kids on this thread! Hi Washington state math kids! I love you all!

Oh yeah. Topic of this thread. I had 1560/800/800/800 with the first score being from sophomore year and the latter three from junior. I probably would have had anywhere from maybe a 1520 to a 1600 depending on the verbal section of the SAT, really. I think the SAT I is both knowing what they are asking for and luck, really, and the SAT II is just plain knowing your stuff. My guess is that somewhere between 300 and 600 kids annually have a 1600 (combined if you're shady like that or single-sitting,) and three or more 800s on the IIs. Not as common as these stat-hos here would lead you to believe, but when virtually every single one of those standardized testing dynamos is applying to the same set of schools (Hahvahd, MIT, Stanford, Yale, whatever), that's when you look less special and less brilliant and less interesting and by God, you had better go find yourself a personality.

XOXO Rebecca

By Albertfermat (Albertfermat) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 04:31 pm: Edit

where do u (useatoothbrush) plan to go to school?

By Useatoothbrush (Useatoothbrush) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 04:36 pm: Edit

Carleton College.

By Jshifton (Jshifton) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 06:28 pm: Edit

Hey Useatoothbrush,

My name is John and I just graduated from Lake Washington High School in Kirkland. Your profile says you live in Bainbridge Island, which sounds luxurious. The last time I was at Bainbridge Island was for a rugby game where I suffered a serious concussion. I don't remeber a thing about the trip except the delicious Ivar's Clam Chowder on the ferry ride home.

You sound like a really smart girl, and from what I remeber you got into both Stanford and MIT, which is an amazing accomplishment.

By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Saturday, June 26, 2004 - 11:15 pm: Edit

does have 6 800 SAT2 scores better that having 3 0r 2 800s

By H0peful (H0peful) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 12:07 am: Edit

237/1600/800/800/800

Beat you by two on psat kewlkiwi! :)

By Kewlkiwi102 (Kewlkiwi102) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 12:20 am: Edit

hahahahaha
you are indeed superior!
:P

By Number9 (Number9) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 12:22 am: Edit

I doubt it, Sk6488, but it depends on the policies of each school. I know many Ivies will only accept the top 3 that matter. Besides it'll look like you have way too much time on your hands.

Get 3 800s, and as far as I see it, SAT IIs are done completely.

By Zantedeschia (Zantedeschia) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 01:40 am: Edit

Unfortunately, I think you do have to be born a good test taker =(

Well, the way I see it is the way I see singing. Some people are born with natural talent and good voices...but everyone, with practice, can reach a certain level, tho that level will never be as high as the naturally talented people's. Does that make sense at all?

By Number9 (Number9) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 01:56 am: Edit

Yeah, but it can be really said about anything. Some people have a knack for certain things, others dont. That simple.

However, I believe someone can practice hard enough to be on par (or even better) than someone who doesn't practice...

By L_J (L_J) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 11:47 am: Edit

My wife and I were talking the other night about test taking and I was commenting about kids with 1540 wanting to test again saying that seemed silly to me. Well she said theses kids are good test takers its what they do...just like good basketball playes go to the gym and shot baskets for fun these kids take tests for fun. It was a lightbulb moment for me

By Feuler (Feuler) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 12:48 pm: Edit

That's an interesting way to look at it that does make sense to an extent; I know on my SAT test day I didn't think at all about "AH HOW WILL THIS AFFECT MY COLLEGE ADMISSIONS" and exclusively "hmm, I wonder just how high I can score..." I'm not sure if basketball that great an example as something like, say, minesweeper.

However, if someone "takes tests for fun," someone should introduce them to the AMC 12/AIME/USAMO, or ARML, or something like that. That way, people generally have more room for improvement, and I think the skills they gain by getting better are a little more useful in life.

By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 03:02 pm: Edit

i really doubt if anyone really enjoys taking tests. Its probably the fact that getting good scores make people feel good about themself, and the continue tot take it. I personally hate them, but do think they are necessary and view and something i must take.

By Ilovefood (Ilovefood) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 04:23 pm: Edit

i have to disagree...i enjoy taking tests, even when i score lower than what i had expected, because that gives me a chance to go back over the material and learn it more thoroughly. Also, with what Feuler was saying about the AMC, AIME, etc. is interesting. I'm far from being close to qualifying for anything mathematical, yet I enjoy trying to figure out old AIME problems, because it forces me to think hard in an area I have great difficulty in.

By Feuler (Feuler) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 05:50 pm: Edit

I do have to say I get some sort of weird enjoyment from tests sometimes. I think it's because I think of it like a game. Sometimes I imagine the questions as a bunch of little Diablo-eque demons running at me, and I'm just cutting them down one by one. It makes me feel powerful, in a sick, twisted sort of way. As if the test has to fear ME, not the other way around. I think maybe because I'm so passive in person I get out all my sublimated male aggression by other means.

I also like more difficult tests like AIME and USAMO, because of the rush you get from reaching some "AHA!" moment that makes a seemingly impossible problem all fit together. But I think that's enjoying the problems themselves, not the test.

By Just_Forget_Me (Just_Forget_Me) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 07:57 pm: Edit

I guess I'll fess up to enjoying (or at least semi-enjoying) standardized tests.

I went to the library and got Real SAT IIs for the writing test, but I ended up doing physics + bio and a little bit of chem, just for the hell of it.

And my PSATs were "only" 230/232, so you guys beat me. I think I got a 32 on PLAN, but I'm not sure. I'm not taking ACTs, which for some reason baffles most people here in Ohio.

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 11:13 pm: Edit

800 SAT I math, 770 SAT II IC, 700 SAT II IIC
nothing else in the 700s lol

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Sunday, June 27, 2004 - 11:15 pm: Edit

Feuler, that's top 10 conceited things I've ever heard.

By Entropicgirl (Entropicgirl) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:13 am: Edit

Aha, I too enjoy taking tests...almost desirous of taking french or retaking math IIc, just for the heck of it. Somebody shoot me now?
But yeah, I think it's 'cause I think of it all as a game--and as a game that I'm good at. Learning the material, plus figuring out what the answers probably are based on test-taking stuff. I remember once someone gave me a test where every other word was made up, but there were clues to the answers in some of the other questions. It got pretty complicated, but I ended up getting all of them right. :) Quite a lot of fun.

By Just_Forget_Me (Just_Forget_Me) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 12:54 am: Edit

benzin-what did feuler say that's conceited?

By Sk6488 (Sk6488) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 01:31 pm: Edit

how advisable is it to take 3 SAT 2's on the same day?

By Kewlkiwi102 (Kewlkiwi102) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 02:00 pm: Edit

I personally dont recommend it, but I have never tried it, nor wish to. I planned my SATII schedule in freshman year (cmon, its not totally compulsive to do that....ok it is, but thats ok) so I would never have to take more than one SATII at a time cause I know that I personally perform better when I only have one subject to deal with and dont have to change gears from Chem to Math to Writing so rapidly. It also makes studying easier.

By Firebird12637 (Firebird12637) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 09:30 pm: Edit

taking 3 of them on one day isnt that bad...i personally have done it twice, averaged 793.333333 on one day and 770 on another...i mean, it just depends on how much time ur willing to spend on test-prep...if u've got the time to prep for 3 at once, go for it...

By Justice (Justice) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 10:08 pm: Edit

I don't think it's a good idea. Spread it out if you can. Not having time to prep for chem definitely hurt me.

By Cherrybarry (Cherrybarry) on Monday, June 28, 2004 - 11:10 pm: Edit

SAT's is a just a measure of who won the genetic lottery and who didn't (for both intelligence and assiduity - first time I've used this word! yah!)

By Just_Forget_Me (Just_Forget_Me) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 12:41 am: Edit

Firebird-Can I ask you why you'd take three more SAT IIs after averaging 793.3 on your first three?

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 01:54 am: Edit

Just Forget Me-I think that's kinda conceited to pull of such high test marks (i.e 1590 SAT I, 140+ AMC 12, and make the USAMO) and have this "i don't care or study one bit for tests" attitude. I don't know. That's just how I see it. I could be very wrong about his intention.

By Feuler (Feuler) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 04:43 am: Edit

Sorry it came off that way; that was not my intention. And I certainly do study for tests- that's all part of the "game" in my little analogy- I just try to get it done without obsessing about it too much.

By Firebird12637 (Firebird12637) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 06:24 pm: Edit

Just Forget Me-

because it was very unbalanced (all math/sci) and no writing...so the second time i took writing plus other random tests...i figured if im gonna ruin a saturday, i might as well do it completely...

By Vancat (Vancat) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:05 pm: Edit

Ok Titans, i have a burning question. I took SAT II US history and writing in June, and i only got my US score back (790). I think i forgot to put in my topic code for the writing, but i'm sure my essay's readers should easily know what topic i'm writing about. Am i screwed? When can i expect my writing score back, if ever?

By Lefty9ak (Lefty9ak) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:14 pm: Edit

Vancat...I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure they'll figure it out.

By Lefty9ak (Lefty9ak) on Tuesday, June 29, 2004 - 11:17 pm: Edit

Let's modify this post a bit to "AP Titans"...who has the most 5's? I'm all done and went 11 / 11. I'm sure somebody will smash that.

By Benzinspeicher (Benzinspeicher) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 12:12 am: Edit

Oh, ok Feuler. I understand. I do apologize for the misunderstanding. And while I'm at it, good luck on the USAMO this year!

By Vtran31 (Vtran31) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 12:39 am: Edit

I do have to say I get some sort of weird enjoyment from tests sometimes. I think it's because I think of it like a game. Sometimes I imagine the questions as a bunch of little Diablo-eque demons running at me, and I'm just cutting them down one by one. It makes me feel powerful, in a sick, twisted sort of way. As if the test has to fear ME, not the other way around. I think maybe because I'm so passive in person I get out all my sublimated male aggression by other means.

Feuler, that cracks me up, even though I didnm't laugh out loud...at least I don't think so.

and i liek your thought about intelligence nad beauty. don't feel as weird now since someone else sorta kinda thinks like me (not really onthe diablo bit though. it was a kewl game though)

By Just_Forget_Me (Just_Forget_Me) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 03:03 am: Edit

Firebird-I was thinking about doing that (i'd taken two, needed writing), and then I realized that I could go home and sleep, instead of sitting at the school for another two hours.

Lefty-Not me! I have a 5 on Calc + US. I'm pretty sure I got a 5 on APLC, but not so confident about Euro (I guess I can call tomorrow?). Most 5s I can possibly get = 8 (but I DOUBT that I'll get all 5s senior year).

By Tootall (Tootall) on Wednesday, June 30, 2004 - 03:53 am: Edit

SAT 1580 800m M2c 800-m-bio 800- physics 800 wr 790 ACT 36
Plan 36. Psat 238

I think it's debatable whether ones SAT score is better correlated with race or wealth. At my school the few first generation blacks/hispanics have all scored well, 1370 plus. A couple hispanics scored well over 1500. Their attitude towards school is a stark contrast compared to 3rd/4th generation blacks/hispanics. It could go either way. I agree with Feuler. Attitude is huge. I would attribute my high scores to this. I have the i'm going to kick the you know what out of the test feeling. In addition, it helps if you can pretend to like taking tests. I know it's weird, but it works.

By Starbucks (Starbucks) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 02:05 am: Edit

hmm well, i've taken 15 APs and have twelve 5s and three 4s.

By Justice (Justice) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 09:53 am: Edit

Wow Lefty that's pretty good. I went 10 for 10 in terms of 5s on APs.

By Julians (Julians) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 11:58 am: Edit

237 PSAT 1600 SAT 800 Writing 800 Literature 800 US Hist

I don't really agree with the race/class theory of standardized test-taking skill. I go to a rural high school where no one takes test prep classes or is anything weathier than middle-class, and I think that the SAT scores of my friends correlate very well to their intelligence and love of learning (which is not always the same as grades, I'm not at the top of my class but I spend quite a bit of time {all my time?} reading and learning.)

As for the racial theory "white males do well on the tests because white males write the tests" that is simply not true. The college board goes to great lengths to try and assure fair testing, each SAT is worked on by many people, including URMs and females. You will notice that almost every SAT has critical reading passages about African or Native American culture, and *never* has euro-centric passages.

Besides, I don't think there is any reason why people who are *not* white and male shouldn't do well- the reason I did well is simply that I like to read, and read a lot. It is not an expensive habit (my family is too poor to buy lots of books) and anyone with a decent public library nearby can read the challenging, thought-provoking books that are discussed in intellectual society. I don't see how being educated somehow corresponds with being "white, male, and wealthy," since as far as I know anyone can check out books from the library, no matter what their race, religion, gender, or socioeconomic class. I guess I'm trying to say that I'm sick of people saying that it's you can't do well on the tests unless you have a certain background - G.W. Bush (and Al Gore, to be fair) both had every possible advantage, and neither cracked 1400 (I know it was on the old scale) and Paul Allen, co-founder of Microsoft, was quite the poor boy and he got a 1600 (again on the old scale.) Nothing is stopping anyone from acing the SAT and related tests.

By Pinacolada (Pinacolada) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 01:24 pm: Edit

wow talk about..pretty numbers haha

By Gmf05 (Gmf05) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 01:48 pm: Edit

Starbucks - What tests did you take and which did you self-study? Those are quite impressive scores. I know at our school it's a huge stretch to do 7-8 AP tests. In fact 8 is the most anyone has ever done here (that I know of.)

By Feuler (Feuler) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 03:41 pm: Edit

Tootal and Julians-

Both of you are correct in saying that nothing is stopping any particular person from doing well. However, the fact that SAT score, viewed as a parameter across the whole population, correlates better to family income than any other factor, is based on statistics, not philosophy.

It is a fact that studies have shown repeatedly that the correlation (the "r" value, for those of you who know stat) is substantially higher between income and SAT score than between SAT score and any of teacher evaluations, high school or college grades, future academic attainment, or many other factors. Unfortunately I don't have the numbers with me because I returned a book to the library that did have them.

Also, to clarify, the reason white males do well on tests has almost nothing to do with racism, bias by the test-writers, etc. In fact, as you say, they do go out of their way to make the material as fair as possible. The bias lies in the testing format. I've discussed this a little above.

A couple examples of this bias are that MC tests cater to people who reason sequentially, not simultaneously (European culture emphasizes sequential, whereas African culture, for example, tend to emphasize simultaneous), people with aggressive personalities, i.e. males, and people who are willing to think at a shallow level about a series of abstract things (females tend to want to go deeper, and are also averse to thinking about things that appear unrelated to life).

For comparison, females tend to do better than males on essay tests, and the racial gap is shortened as well. An interesting example is AP exams- if those who score well on APs are split into those who did well on the essays and not as well on MC, and those who did well on MC but not as well on the essays, it can be seen that the two groups are primarily female and male, respectively.

OK that's enough rambling for now. My main point however, is that, all conceptual arguments aside, the statistics are there to show that the SAT is practically meaningless in predicting future academic success, and it's use not only does not help the quality of students at a particular college, but also hurts the chances of minorities or women to get in.

By Julians (Julians) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 04:15 pm: Edit

I don't see how that's a problem, however. The SAT does an excellent job of identifying diamond-in-the-rough candidates, and, since females do better in the classroom, they do better in admissions as well (college population is majority female and getting more so.) And everyone knows that URMs get some preferential treatment. I think it all evens out- i.e., the best candidates from every group get in, the scores help identify the best candidates, but are not the only factor. Besides, the ability to "think about things that appear unrelated to life" is one of the primary reasons why a majority of our best scientists and mathematicians (and even authors and artists) are male, even in this day and age.

By Starbucks (Starbucks) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 04:37 pm: Edit

Gmf, the tests I took were Calc AB, Calc BC (with AB subscore), Biology, Chemistry, Environmental Science, Statistics, US History, Spanish Language, Psychology, English Language (4), English Literature, Macroeconomics, US Government and Politics (4), and European History (4). I didn't self-study any of these, but I did self-study Art History, which I did not take the AP test for (too much!).
And I see some talk about gender issues, and I'm a white female in case anyone cares

By Firebird12637 (Firebird12637) on Thursday, July 01, 2004 - 07:10 pm: Edit

wow Tootall, u got a 36 on PLAN? that's REALLY good, considering how a perfect score is 32...

By Tootall (Tootall) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 01:56 am: Edit

Sorry that was a typo. I was still thinking in terms of the ACT. i assumed that they were equal. I haven't looked at my score sheet since sophomore year and assumed a 36 was achievable. i can take a photo of my score sheet with my digital camera and post it online if you want.

By Wintersoul (Wintersoul) on Friday, July 02, 2004 - 03:27 am: Edit

I got 5's on 13/13 : Biology, Calculus BC (and AB subscore), Chemistry, Comp. Sci. A, Comp. Sci. AB, English Language, English Literature, Environmental Science, Physics B, Physics C E&M, Physics C Mechanics, Statistics, and Studio Art 3D Design.

By the way, I'm a multiracial (caucasian and hispanic) female. I got a 1600 on the SAT, and I love math and science and hate writing essays. I think there's a bias in the sciences that encourages males while discouraging females merely because of societal conventions. It's the same bias that's at fault for many less women than men knowing how to fix cars. When boys play with LEGOs, they are encouraged to experiment, to build, to think logically; when girls play with dolls, they are encouraged to socialize and to imagine. Children are taught that these things are socially acceptable - LEGO is marketed with pictures of boys playing and its human figures are nearly always male; dolls are marketed almost exclusively to girls and nearly all dolls are female. Gender discrepancy in testing is not caused by inherant differences in ability but by learned differences in thought and behavior. The same goes for testing discrepancy due to ethnicity or economic status. The root cause is nearly always society and environment - how much these two factors encourage a specific person and in what direction.

P.S. I sold my Barbies to help raise funds for my daycare and played with pink and white LEGOs. Some people just won't be entirely shaped by society.


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