When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson

18 September 2006

The Blogger SAT Challenge

The New York Times recently published sample top-scoring essays from the new written component of the SAT test in order to show the type of work that was likely to score highly. Several bloggers, as well as the Times itself, have noted that the writing isn't exactly compelling.

In fact, I've been carrying on a bit of a debate with Chad Orzel, of ScienceBlogs' Uncertain Principles on this very subject. Chad argues that it's unfair to put a microscope to the the highschoolers' prose, written in just 25 minutes based on a prompt they had never encountered before.

In the comments, I expressed surprise:

I'm sorry, that was just painful to read. These are really the best? I do understand that these writers got only 25 minutes, on a topic they hadn't prepared for, but still, the best?

Then Chad laid down the gantlet threw down the gauntlet:

Somebody ought to get a bunch of bloggers together, and give them the writing SAT under timed conditions, and see what they come up with.

I think you can figure out where this is headed. Chad and I have set up a test for you to use to find out if you can do any better than a bunch of highschoolers.

You know what to do, y'all.

Cognitive Daily: The Blogger SAT Challenge!

Hat tip: deVille.

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