Friday, January 14, 2011

So, let's talk about the PSAT. For you non-American readers, the acronym stands for Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), and the SAT is the giant stupid standardized test that all high schoolers have to endure, supposedly so they can get into college, even though many top colleges don't even look at the results. (Does this fit the definition of scam?)

Yesterday James came home with his PSAT results, which were handily accompanied by the booklet so that his parents could sit on the couch and ask each other test questions. I can't say we were thrilled with what we discovered.

Unfortunately, the Educational Testing Service prohibits "unauthorized reproduction," so I cannot reprint section 1, question 2 verbatim. All I can say is that Tom and I were both dying to check (B). But no. The answer was nice, straightforward (C). That's because the PSAT doesn't test a student's comprehension of satire, or double meanings, or ambiguity, even though anyone who hangs around high schoolers knows that a supple grasp of these particular literary elements is a key indicator of Smart Kid.


Sometimes I just hate school.

[The PSAT has distracted me from what I intended to talk about today, which was my response to yesterday's post of opening paragraphs. But since I have to take the dog to get her rabies shot this morning, I do not have time to mull over that subject today. Therefore, stay tuned for tomorrow's thoughts, and in the meantime add your own to the comments.]

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