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Before you check the College Board for your SAT scores

Today the College Board (which, incidentally, would be a terrible name for a band) is releasing everyone's SAT scores from the Oct. 9 test date.

The day you get your SAT scores is like Christmas morning, if Christmas at your house was that morning when you expected something great and instead got a used VHS copy of the John Travolta movie Phenomenon.

If you do poorly on the SAT, received wisdom says, you will never succeed. No matter where you go, people will judge you. When (if) you get to college, your roommates will form the "2,400 Club" and have loud meetings late at night where they laugh about how easy it is for them to solve simple trigonometry problems and comprehend passages that they have read. Think I'm joking? Just look at Pat Robertson! After scoring what he did on the SATs, Pat Robertson's only option was to form the 700 Club, publicize it, and hope for the best!

By the time your high school class tries online dating, the sites will probably ask you for your SAT score. It'll be like Gattaca, except instead of selecting for characteristics like "beauty" and "not being susceptible to heart disease," they'll select for characteristics like "not beauty" and "the ability to write essays with five-paragraph structure." But, then again, they also ask you for an accurate, recent picture in which you are fully clothed, and who complies with that?

But if it didn't go so well this time, forget SAT prep! SAT prep is like sex education; it doesn't make you any better at it.

If you did poorly, don't bother retaking! Leave school and go work on an organic farm that gives hope to under-fathered children. If anyone there asks what you got on the SAT, tell them, then add that you always switch your SAT score with your IQ, because "that's what you do when you're a 200." Explain that, once you get smart enough, you "come back around to the other side, like Siddhartha did." If this doesn't work, you can always put this experience on your college application! If they have a "free spirit" quota, you'll be in luck.

If your "parents" are insisting you retake the test, because they've invested a lot of money in you and don't want another investment to suddenly, without warning, lose all its value like their house did in 2008, here are a few SAT-taking tips for next time!

  • When you're in the part of the reading section that asks you to pick the word that doesn't belong, just pick the word you'd be least comfortable bringing to dinner with your conservative parents.
  • Try to put yourself in the mind of the person who wrote the test. Did he have a happy family life? What kind of motivations do you think he ascribes to that Uncle Watson guy in the reading passage?
  • Try reading the passages aloud to yourself. If the person next to you objects, accuse him of listening to your thoughts.
  • For the writing section, you literally cannot fail if you write a five paragraph essay that references the life of Dr. Martin Luther King at least once.
  • Seriously, there is no context in which referencing Dr. King will not be appropriate. This is actually good advice. I took the SAT eight times, and every single time, I referenced Dr. King. Admittedly, this was a little weird on the SAT 2 for Biology, but I made it work! You have to commit.
  • If you sense things are going badly, pick letters that offer excuses as to why you did so poorly: "BAD DAD; ADD; BAD AC" You can also just fill in all the test bubbles with D's. Most of the time, this will only be 25 percent right, but you might luck out and get the one grader who really likes D's!


  • Fill in the bubbles in a shape that resembles Jesus. When you're finished, raise your hand and explain that you can't stay any longer, because He is Here! Rush out, speaking in tongues.


  • Pretend the person next to you is going into cardiac arrest, and you have to save him through cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. (It helps if the other person is in on this, but it's not strictly essential.)


  • Try to appeal to the test-grading machine's sensibilities by listing its favorite types of power -- AC, DC, AA.
  • Amuse yourself by making your test paper pretend to be a sheep! BAAA BAA BAAAAA BAA. If the test-taker gets this, he'll laugh along! Maybe you'll get a 300!

Remember, no matter how badly you do, you'll still be able to run for political office.

By Alexandra Petri  | October 28, 2010; 1:42 PM ET
Categories:  Bad Advice, Petri  | Tags:  SAT scores  
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Comments


THE EASY ESSAY ©
Or
Where was this when I was in school?
www.TheEasyEssay.com is a free, 5 minute, automated information organization program. It is useful for students from Sp Ed (ADHD, dyslexia, TBI, mainstreaming) to college classes, plus preparation for SAT, ACT, FCAT and GED tests, homeschoolers, as well as for parents, teachers, businesspeople (memos, reports, speeches, recommendations); anyone who can use help in organizing their thoughts. Please see our “Testimonials” section.
Users are prompted to enter information into a simple format and are automatically guided to stay with their main point. The Program is limited only by the capacity of the user.
The Process works in any language and the Program can be done without the use of a computer.
A noted side effect is that users usually begin to communicate more logically.

Posted by: morse99 | October 28, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse


THE EASY ESSAY ©
Or
Where was this when I was in school?
www.TheEasyEssay.com is a free, 5 minute, automated information organization program. It is useful for students from Sp Ed (ADHD, dyslexia, TBI, mainstreaming) to college classes, plus preparation for SAT, ACT, FCAT and GED tests, homeschoolers, as well as for parents, teachers, businesspeople (memos, reports, speeches, recommendations); anyone who can use help in organizing their thoughts. Please see our “Testimonials” section.
Users are prompted to enter information into a simple format and are automatically guided to stay with their main point. The Program is limited only by the capacity of the user.
The Process works in any language and the Program can be done without the use of a computer.
A noted side effect is that users usually begin to communicate more logically.

Posted by: morse99 | October 28, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

THE EASY ESSAY ©
Or
Where was this when I was in school?
www.TheEasyEssay.com is a free, 5 minute, automated information organization program. It is useful for students from Sp Ed (ADHD, dyslexia, TBI, mainstreaming) to college classes, plus preparation for SAT, ACT, FCAT and GED tests, homeschoolers, as well as for parents, teachers, businesspeople (memos, reports, speeches, recommendations); anyone who can use help in organizing their thoughts. Please see our “Testimonials” section.
Users are prompted to enter information into a simple format and are automatically guided to stay with their main point. The Program is limited only by the capacity of the user.
The Process works in any language and the Program can be done without the use of a computer.
A noted side effect is that users usually begin to communicate more logically.

Posted by: morse99 | October 28, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Ummm... After Pat Robertson scored what he did on the SATs, he got accepted to Yale.

I can't tell if you're trying to be funny or not. If you did, you missed the mark.

Posted by: wcrickards | October 28, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Like Sparky and Pitzer
Like Boney and Claude
Like Peas in a Polk

Alex and Dana

In compostition with their posters...

...so what have you got...SAT's?

What can we do with that ComSATpost...

...but seriously, did you hear the one about the head of a pi...

Posted by: SpendNomore | October 28, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

Ha, ha, I guess?

Just this morning arrived the results for my daughter's SAT Math 2. She scored 800.

Posted by: teplicky101 | October 28, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

I did fine on the SATs but had managed to ignore football, basketball, wrestling (necessary for an A in physics, since the physics teacher was coach), track, and even the golf team. I was thus ineligible for admission to "highly selective" colleges.

Posted by: DaveoftheCoonties | October 28, 2010 8:39 PM | Report abuse

I love it when somebody makes fun of the College Board. The national near-obsession with the SATs has been carefully cultivated by the Board to increase sales of their products. The Board, by the way, is not a cadre of kindly, erudite academics dedicated to maintaining the standards of American higher education. They've pretty well reached market saturation with College Boards, and the markets for the GRE, LSAT, and MSAT are limited to students who want to sign on for more education after college, so they came up with a wonderful new product some years ago: Advanced Placement. Think about it: If a score on the SAT is important in assessing a student's ability to do college level work, why allow anyone to do "college level" work without taking the SAT first?

Posted by: amstphd | October 28, 2010 9:01 PM | Report abuse

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