kitchen table math, the sequel: It's a "Math Flavored" Test

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's a "Math Flavored" Test

That's what PWNtheSAT told me after I screamed on the top of my lungs for the umpteenth time because I'd fallen again for some deception in the "Math Section" that wasn't even "math."
"Does that make you mad?" he asked.
"YES," I screamed.
"Good, then don't let them do that to you again."
And then he told me to think of the Math Section like shrimp flavored Ramen Noodles: there could be some shrimp in there, but really it's a lot of other "stuff." "That doesn't mean it's any less hard," he clarified, "Just different."
Not sure if those were the words that inspired my unplanned, last second, impulsive shift in strategy -- but I took SAT #5 in 2011, all in first-serves. I was aggressive. There was not one iota of perseveration in my game that day.
Last Saturday morning, at DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, NY -- I discovered my inner "don't mess with me" self.
No idea what this means for my score, and thank god this doesn't really count for anything. I am very curious though, as to how this "backwards-Debbie" plan worked out, and I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I woke up the next day just a little bit scared.
Here's what I know for sure:
I had a blast and enjoyed every second of the experience. I distinctly remember thinking as I colored in those first bubbles with that deliciously soft and perfectly sharpened #2 pencil, "This feels soooooo good."
I will also say this: Every day I'm less sure about what, exactly, the SAT is testing. More and more it feels like a test of how not to be messed with -- especially the math (and least of all the writing).
And if that be the case (and I do believe that be the case), I'm going to highly recommend a book that I've highly recommended before: PWN the SAT Math Guide.
From the introduction:
"The SAT is not a math's full of booby-traps, misleading diagrams, and intentionally difficult phrasing. Even questions that look a lot like straightforward algebra questions are put there not to see if you can do the algebra, but to see if you can spot the shortcut that lets you avoid the algebra.
.....Taking the SAT like you'd take a regular math test is like bringing a knife to a gun fight......
.....The SAT is a test, above all, of how good you are at taking the SAT......

Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis

Cross-posted on Perfect Score Project

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