The College Board has announced that, starting this year, a new SAT Subject Test will be offered for students across the United States: The SAT Subject Test in SAT Tests. Feelix Peely of the College Board’s Ministry of Compassion explained in a statement, “Kids don’t need to be able to understand a piece of writing. They need to be able to convince other people that they understand it. That’s the principle that the SATs were founded on.” When asked whether the new test will increase the appearance of knowledge among America’s youth, Mr. Peely replied, “Pretty sure.”
And how do students feel about the new test? Said Tommy Rickman, grade ten, “Am I honestly going to remember which way magnetic fields turn around your thumb? I’ve never used that knowledge in my day-to-day life, and I probably never will. I’ve been taking standardized tests my whole life. That’s practical knowledge right there.” Even teens who do not regularly excel at standardized tests are enthusiastic. Aaron Huang, a veteran failure, believes that the new test will level the playing field somewhat. “Not everyone can score in the first percentile like me,” Aaron reminds us.
Sample questions include:
Fill in the bubble that best completes the sentence.
If you come across a question on this test which you cannot answer…
a. Leave it blank.
b. Just answer C.
c. Eliminate one or two unlikely answers and then guess.
d. Spend five minutes sobbing quietly and playing eeny-meeny-miny-moe before leaving it blank.
SAT Tests are…
a. A fair standard by which colleges can judge the academic merits of students.
b. The god to which I will sacrifice my time and labors so that Daddy might one day hug me.
c. A way for upper-class parents to buy their children credentials for college and for professional tutors and the Princeton Review to continue not contributing to society.
d. The white man’s conspiracy.
If you perform poorly on this test, you will most likely…
a. Become a garbage man.
b. Become a prostitute.
c. Be stricken of your family name and be made to walk ten steps behind anyone who got over a 600.
d. Cancel your score and be frightened enough to give in and buy more test prep books. We told you you were worthless. Your soul will be ours.
The shift comes at a time when the SATs themselves are being fundamentally reexamined. Criticized for years for its subjects being impractical and having no realistic bearing on the future lives of students, the College Board also plans to cut the Subject Test in United States History and possibly the test in Physics. These will be replaced in the next few years by the SAT Subject Tests in Small Talk, Drawing Attention Away From Personal Flaws, and Heavy-handed and Unconstructive Criticism Through Comedy. Perhaps those with the most to gain are the students who don’t even have to learn to string two phrases together lucky them.