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The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 9:30 am

I took it last week and have to conclude it's a monumental waste of time and resources. If you've taken the thing then let me know how you found it (was it difficult? etc) and roughly how you did ....

For myself, I'm predicting 750 on the verbal and maths in the low 600's (maybe high 500's if I bombed the maths as much as I thought). Feel free to place a bet on my score ;-]

Oh, and in my test there were some rather suspicious activities going on. A Chinese person in front of me had words programmed into his calculator. Now, these were not even difficult words ... but things like " occurence " and " happenstance " ... there seems to be little point cheating on the test if you get into a college you are obviously underqualified for ...

I'm not even sure what it measures ... the questions seemed kinda dumb " what is 50% of 20 " or ... " what is the third leg of a triangle with a hypotenuse of eight and side length of 6 " ... even a doofus like me who flunked Maths in high school coped fine with it (I think) ... And some of the analogies made no sense ... except perhaps the people who designed the test.

So, someone explain the logic of this test .... I thought it seemed a reasonable way of levelling the playing field for college admissions *before* I seen it ... now I find the whole test rather dubious and geared towards those who can spend $$$$$ on books that tell you how to outwit the SAT ... thoughts?
 
desertjets
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 9:49 am

Being that you are from the UK may I ask why you took the SAT????

I took it twice in high school. On my second test I got a 1280, 700 verbal 580 math. Which is a pretty good score. Bear in mind that the 50th percentile score is around 1000 composite.

First of all when I took it, this was in 1997, calculators were not allowed. I assumed that it would be the same now. I would think that proctors would be looking out for people having calculators out during verbal sections.

As for its merits. It has been used pretty widely since it was created in 1940 and shows no signs of going aware, despite what the University of California Regents may say. The fact of the matter is that it is a test that you can prepare for. I had one person in my high school score a 1600. Well he was pretty smart, but he and many other people had spent lots of time and money preparing for the SAT. In the end it really only tests your ability to take a test. Like the analogies that you saw that didn't make any sense, they do make perfect sense... those books and courses tell you how to figure them out.

Anyways I hope your scores come out well.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
airplanetire
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 9:57 am

I know this is kind of early, but when I was in 7th grade, if you scored 90th percentile or above on at least one test on the ITBS (Iowa Test of Basic Skills, used to be standard for all elementary and middle school students to take, is being replaced with the Stanford 9), then Duke University allowed you to take the SAT. It was the normal SAT, not PSAT. I found the SAT to be pretty hard, but with a huge range of questions ranging from a 3rd grade level to 12th grade. I was happy with my scores though.
 
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 9:59 am

Because I'm applying to American colleges in addition to UK uni's ... first choice is Reed, then Oberlin, Smith, Bryn Mawr and Mount Holyoke ... I can't see myself getting below a 1200 ... if I did, then I probably did something moronic like bubble in the ovals incorrectly.

The proctor in our test just sat there reading a book for three hours. It was tempting to go back and check answers ... but I needed all the time .... soooo ....

The analogies didn't make sense, although I understood the reasoning and put in what I (hope) were the correct answers. It just seemed kinda dumb, that's all. No difficult words came up on the verbal section IIRC which surprised me given the word list in my book ...

I've always done well in English, but only slightly above average in Maths. I figure I can get away with 1200 + for the schools on my list and be given some leeway as I'm profoundly deaf. I really, really do not want to take the thing again, and it's too much hassle to request extended time owing to my disability ... so I will hope and pray it went ok on Thursday :-]
 
Pendrilsaint
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 9:59 am

That is very odd about the Chinese guy using a calculator...first off the proctors are supposed to make sure all calculators have been mem cleared...and second of all DesertJets is right , you arent supposed to be using one on a verbal section...
Now onto the second part...yes, in my opinion the SAT is just a money making scheme for the CollegeBoard. It measures how well prepared you are for just that..the SAT. When I took it I made a 1440 , 760v , 680 m , and that was only because I am well read...Some students who are excellent at the sciences dont even have a chance to show off their abilities...The ACT is a much better test to show what students have accomplished...
 
KAUSpilot
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 10:02 am

Whoa! You and I received the same scores desertjets....680 math 600 verbal here.

I really didn't worry about studying or preparing for the SAT too much, I just went in there on the day of the test and did my best. Thankfully, this effort turned out to be good enough for the school I wanted to get into. I'm sure there'll be some genius posting on here in a second telling me they made a 1300 when they took the SAT in 6th grade and a 1580 in high school. Keep it to yourself will ya? lol.

I wouldn't worry about the SAT too much if I were you. The one thing I would do differently if I was going take it again would be to study the vocabulary more. I'm sure any good English teacher can provide you with a list of vocabulary words that the college board is known to ask questions about on the SAT. There will probably be hundreds of words on this list, but just go through and find the ones you aren't familiar with and learn their definitions.

If I had followed my own advice, I probably could've improved my verbal score enough to get into the 1300's. But as they say, hindsight is 20/20.
 
VirginLover
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 10:48 am

I definitely think the ACT is a better test than the SAT. I'm a very good student, top 8% in the class  Laugh out loud but the SATs just kept screwing me over. I was in AP Language and Composition, so I studied all my words from there and practiced harder reading passages for the AP that what the SAT would give me and got a tutor for math...I ended up with a 580 verbal, 600 math. Meanwhile, my mom reminded me I had to take the ACTs the night before, I read 15 minutes worth of test tips and got a 28...or a 1260 SAT score converted...while "critical reading" messed me up on the SAT...I got a perfect score (36) on the reading on the ACT I think with the ACT you either know it or you don't...with the SAT you know it, but you have to wade through piles of stupid sentences and word tricks to find it. I just took the SAT over again last week...I'm hoping I did slightly better!
 
FutureSQPilot
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:14 am

I think the SATs are pretty easy...when I took them on the Duke program that Airplanetire mentioned in 7th grade I got a 670 on math and a 560 on verbal, or 1230 overall. Apparently the avg score for High School juniors is around 1050 which is unbelieveable. Its mostly about test taking skills because almost everything on there seems to be common knowledge (excluding some vocab).
btw...what did you get when you took the test in 7th grade Airplanetire? Not to be nosy, but I just want to see what other people in that age grp got.
 
D-AIGW
Posts: 258
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:51 am

Kinda drives me crazy when you guys say the SAT is easy... I had 560 verbal 800 math... the math when compared to that we study here in Hong Kong is really easy, but the verbal part... umm... I think it's nothing more than a contest in memorizing the big words. You won't use those words anyway, so what's the point of knowing them.
 
jcs17
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 11:56 am

Lets see...I got a 1280 overall...680 verbal, 600 math. Now how did I end up at UT-Arlington? I think it is pretty easy, I never took any prep classes or anything like that, and never took it twice...Supposedly you can improve your score 100-150 the second time, but I was diagnosed with chronic laziness disease, so I didnt feel like it. My SAT tip is to answer every question on verbal, you will surprise yourself on how well you can do. The SAT saved my ass though when applying to colleges, my GPA was awful because I went to a hard school.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
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B747-437B
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 12:04 pm

I did the SAT back in 1992 when it was still the SAT and the Achievement tests and before they started curving scores upwards so the retards wouldn't feel bad. I scored a 710 verbal and 800 math back then, and I had an awful hangover too so I know I coulda done a lot better.
 
lubcha132
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 12:05 pm

i just took the PSAT's on tuesday (if you care, form T) and i'm very scared because i didn't think they were hard.
 
FutureSQPilot
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 12:39 pm

lubcha...I just took the exact test (form T as well) on Tues...I thought it was pretty easy this year too, easier than last year at least.
 
174thfwff
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Joined: Thu Sep 04, 2003 12:47 am

RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 1:06 pm

Kung Pow...I took the PSAT form "S"...I'll tell you how I did once I get the results back.

-174thfwff
Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, Staten, Uptown, what now? Lets make it happen.
 
Guest

RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 1:38 pm

barcode:

The SAT gets a lot of flack. Not all of it unwarrnated. While many of the testakers will find the test a headache or useless, I think its a relatively inteligent test in that it is an apptitude test that tests your ability to adapt your previous (basic?) knowledge to answer questions testing that knowledge in new and different ways.

I did extraordinarily well on the test - but after thousands of dollars of tutoring. So, I was expected to.

But with that said, and I may come off as an elitist jerk for saying this, I hold those with low scores in relatively low esteen. Why? Because I did well on it - its a test for people who think like and adapt their knowledge like I do and its fair to say that I'm a little bit unimpressed with those that think differently. But I'm working on that (ie....going to college).

Anyway, best of luck for the highest scores possible.

TNNH

PS: BarCode: no interest in Vassar? highly ranked selective college with a very distinguished legacy - plus you could likely get in with scores you are predicting.
 
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Topic Author
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 1:51 pm

Thousands of dollars to prepare for a test? I spent a grand total of £8 on a test book. What's the point in spending that amount of money? Either you know something or you don't, and if you don't .... well then pick up a book.

I thought the verbal was stupid ... I'm trying not to sound obnoxious by saying it seemed designed for twelve year olds, because the moment I do that I'll probably find myself lumbered with a 600 or something ... LOL.

I can't see how I did badly though; I answered everything (except for one section which turned out to be the experimental so I don't care) and I've never bombed a verbal/English test in my life. All of this is going to rest on how many maths questions I had wrong ... I know I had three or four wrong when I thought about it afterwards ... the rest I do not know ... I'd be very surprised if I went under 550 though.

As for Vassar - not much in the way of finaid for Internationals. They make it seem like you have to walk on water (same with Cornell  Big grin) and I think if I'm determined to get to the USA, then I'm going to have to be realistic. I think I'd be happy at Reed anyway. My problem is I'll need almost a full ride in grants/need based aid wherever I end up.

I would say anything over a 1200 is easily obtainable for anybody who is " bright " ... after then there's a whole host of other factors such as what resources they have had available, how they were feeling on the day etc ... there's really no excuse for not knowing your own language and doing badly on the verbal IMO.

 
Guest

RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 2:40 pm

chica:

yeah thousands of bucks. can you believe it? in hindsight it really was f*cking ridiculous - but getting me into a top college was just top priority on my parents agenda - and with my mediocre to above average average in high school - a 1500 or less would have kept me out of the schools my parents wanted me to get into. frankly i would have been just as happy at university of florida (maybe happier? who knows) but my mom would have overdosed on her paxil (or valium?) if i had chosen that route. so here i am.

What's the point in spending that amount of money? Either you know something or you don't, and if you don't .... well then pick up a book.

Ok heres whats special about the SAT. Unlike an achievement test which tests you on what you've achieved or learned over the years - the SAT is an "apptitude" test in that it asks you to "adapt" your standard gradeschool education in different and somewhat tricky ways.

So there is a reason hundreds of thousands of American students spend thousands of dollars preparing for the test. They, like me, were attempting to learn in what ways the SAT testmakers wanted us to "adapt" our knowledge (the same knowledge the testmakers assumed ever testtaker would have) to score highly on the test. Do you understand?

It's not what we want to know if you know a + b = c -- its we expect you to know a + b = c, but do you also know that a + gh(45) + b = c + gh(45), etc...

Its a very inteligent test in that it doesn't ask history or science - because kids will complain ("uhh my history teacher sucked or I took biology and not chem." etc...).

The education to score well on this test is really basic 9th grade stuff.

TNNH
 
Guest

RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 2:47 pm

i also agree that anyone reasonably inteligent should score over..... I'd say 1200.

sorry about vassar (and cornell)

good luck with reed - where is it?
 
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 2:52 pm

Yeah I get the thing about adapating your knowledge to the test .... half of the time it seemed more difficult to understand the question then work out the answer ....

Reed - small liberal arts college in Portland. SAT scores (mid 50%) are from 1240 - 1400 and something. Which is why I figure a 1240 will put me in the running ... I hate to play up on the deafness thing, but if my scores are dodgy I'm going to mention I didn't request the untimed test blah blah. By dodgy I mean in the low 1200's ...

Or I guess I can retake in November and hope they reach the school in time for ED ....

There's a company called Kaplan in London that sent me info - they wanted about £3000 for a SAT prep course, which is almost as much as I have in savings to go back to college! Common sense dictates I followed the instructions in the Barrons book ... and I didn't receive any nasty surprises on test day ....
 
jcs17
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 2:59 pm

Barcode:

You can probably find an affordable private SAT tutor in London...I suggest that you go to a local high school or an American university campus in London and just inquire about it...they will probably have a list of them. Kaplan is an international test prep company, 3000 pounds is ridiculous, and my friend went to one of their classes in the U.S. and he said it was terrible (for probably half of the price).
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
DeltaJAX
Posts: 328
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 3:01 pm

I take the test in the early part of November, I signed up to take it in early June but forgot about it until the night of the test date after the test had been given, DOH!
 
DeltaJAX
Posts: 328
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 3:02 pm

btw I got a 26 on the ACT so I hope I do as well on the SAT.
 
Guest

RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 3:06 pm

the two major test prep companies in the world are both american companies: Kaplan and Princeton Review. Neither is "terrible" of course as both have expanded extraordinarily over the years and become terrifically successful and properous businesses. Kaplan was bought by the Washington Post Company a few years back for a whopping sum. But, they are not cheap.

My best advice is not to buy barrons or one of those books and skip the tutors. Just buy the book the College Board (owner of the SAT) itself makes and markets. Its called "10 Real SATs" and its - yeah you guessed it - 10 old SATs in one big workbook.

That'll do it for you.

TNNH

 
ryanb741
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Joined: Thu Mar 28, 2002 6:36 pm

RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 4:47 pm

I had to take a SAT test to get into Wharton Business School's MBA programme. The SAT was ridiculously easy compared to doing A Levels in the UK but what was tricky was the amount of Management Reports I had to send through to the College. I am assuming that these are what most of the entrance criteria is based on, not the SAT.
I used to think the brain is the most fascinating part of my body. But, hey, who is telling me that?
 
desertjets
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RE: The SAT Test

Mon Oct 21, 2002 10:38 pm

If you want to talk about the racket that Kaplan and Princeton Review have, look at their GMAT, MCAT and LSAT prep courses. Arguably those test are far higher stakes than the SAT by far, except maybe for Russ' mom. I have a bunch of pre-med friends, who all took Kaplan's GMAT prep course... easily over $1000. But like TNNH said, the purpose of those courses is to dramatically improve one's score. Though I have never heard any of them promise to increase your score by much more than 100 points. Even though taking it again you are likely to increase it 20-30.

If you are not happy with what your scores come out to, definately do what JCS said, and check out if any of the local universities offer an SAT prep course. I know my old university offered GRE and LSAT prep courses for about $400... compared to at least twice that for the commercial courses.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
AirT85
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RE: The SAT Test

Tue Oct 22, 2002 6:03 am

Man...you all make me feel dumb lol. I've taken them three times so far (once last week, so I dont have the score for it yet) and currently sit at an 1160(from my second time)...
This past weekend i took it my third time, and I thought it was easy, too.
Tony
Why would God make us all so different, if He wanted us to be the same?
 
Guest

RE: The SAT Test

Tue Oct 22, 2002 6:19 am

my one complaint about the SAT is that it is ridiculously expensive.

If you do standby or register late - the test is like $60 bucks. Then they charge you if you want to call and find out what your score is a week later: thats like 15 bucks. Then they charge you to send out your score repots to collleges, etc...

Not cheap. But my parents were prepared to pay all that. Everyone had priorities in this world, and one of their priorities was that I got a 1500 or better in order to get into a "reach" college for me. I didn't have the grades for Cornell, but my 1550 on the SAT made it happen. So.. its all about priorities.

So yeah.. you guys who took the test - you know you can call the tel # like 6 days after taking it and receive your score. So like right now? I think its like 1800 SAT test

TNNH
 
desertjets
Posts: 7693
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RE: The SAT Test

Tue Oct 22, 2002 7:05 am

That is the one thing that baffles me about the SAT. Now when I took the GRE, which cost me $105 and included only 4 reports, it was computer based. When I was done I got my score immediately. Which is really nice. The paper copy showed up 6 weeks later.

Though I guess the cost of infrastructure to deliver a computer based version of the SAT would just be enourmous given the numbers who take it.
Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
 
jfwjxn
Posts: 84
Joined: Tue Jun 18, 2002 9:13 am

RE: The SAT Test

Tue Oct 22, 2002 7:39 am

I am only in 9th grade, and took the SATs and scored 1370. I thought I did very well, but I spent $75 for prep stuff, but $45 was school paid, so $30 wasn't bad, plus it gave me some practice.
 
airplanetire
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 11:59 pm

RE: The SAT Test

Tue Oct 22, 2002 9:33 am

FutureSQPilot, to answer your question, I got an 1130. I don't know what the score on each part was, but the two were really even, like within 10 points of each other. I just took the PSAT on Tuesday too. I think it was form T.
 
B747forlife
Posts: 386
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2001 9:36 am

RE: The SAT Test

Tue Oct 22, 2002 11:05 am

Hey all, I took the PSAT form T on Tuesday also. It was really easy except for the stupid "writing" section. Anyone else have problems with that?

-Nick
 
CMK10
Posts: 1826
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2004 10:56 am

RE: The SAT Test

Tue Oct 22, 2002 11:19 am

I took the SAT last may, got a 650 Verbal 570 Math equalling a 1220. I was so stressed when I finished it, thankfully right after I had lunch with A.netter I LOVE EWR and it was on him so all the stress melted away.
DC-10's Forever
"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
 
Guest

RE: The SAT Test

Tue Oct 22, 2002 12:43 pm

jfw - very very solid score for a 9th grader.

you should be very happy for yourself.

B747 - that writing section is important and reappears as the SAT 2 - Writing test which is requisite to applying to most competitive colleges.

TNNH

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