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Dealing with Disappointing SAT Scores

I used to coach the SAT. One of the things that bothered me most about dealing with my students was seeing the urgency, if not desperation, in their demeanors as they struggled with that (especially back then) slippery, sometimes seemingly arbitrary exam. I think I've mentioned before having read a revealing magazine article about a gathering of societal luminaries who were discussing their college experiences and the SAT. The upshot of the article was that none of these highly accomplished, successful, and even wealthy people would agree to take the SAT again, to see how their life's experience had made them smarter. None would even reveal the scores they got when they took the test as high schoolers. Such is the sometimes irrational stranglehold the SAT wields.

So, what's a struggling high school student to do? The Educational Testing Service would like you to believe that taking the SAT is the only way to climb those Ivy walls. Talk about strangleholds. The ETS has reaped countless millions from this monopolistic exam and dismissed numerous charges that the test is flawed and does not measure what it claims to measure. One telling reaction they made was changing the name of the test from the Scholastic Aptitude Test to the Scholastic Assessment Test, which, in my view, was a tacit admission that the SAT has little to do with aptitude. But I digress.

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