kitchen table math, the sequel: 35 Year Old Man Retakes SAT

Thursday, March 22, 2012

35 Year Old Man Retakes SAT

35 year old man retakes SAT cold, writes about his experience. (Warning: profanity. Unsurprisingly.)


Righteous Bill said...

The number of sides that the polygon has is 9.

Linda Seebach said...

I was strongly tempted to tell that self-important jerk to get over himself.

I never had any reason to retake the SAT -- I graduated from high school in 1957 -- but I did retake the GRE, at age 46, 26 years after I took it in college, because I went back to grad school when my son started college.

What's supposed to be the big deal? I bought a book of past exams, took it out to the park with me one day to read while I ate lunch, and did one test for practice. Seemed easy enough, no "test prep" required. Took the test, got exactly the same score. So what?

Yes, nine. Impenetrable to someone who brags that he's forgotten there are 180 degress in a triangle, but that is not something one would want to admit, let alone brag about.

The interior articles of a quadrilateral add up to 360 degrees (a diagonal divides it into two triangles at 180 each). So the two unmarked vertices are 140 each, that is, 7 x (something). How many sides must there be for the total of the interior angles to have 7 as a factor? Draw all the diagonals from one vertex; in order to have 7 triangles, there must be nine sides.

I knew that; it took me a while to reconstruct how I knew it, but I took the SAT 55 years ago. What's his problem?

Laura said...

I dunno... I actually thought it was funny (except the profanity was a bit much). Although, this is coming from someone who showed up for her SAT test, and was promptly turned away. Yes, it's true! Okay, I was terribly sick with the flu... I never did take it. I still managed to get into the State University and maintain a 3.86 GPA.

I've always thought it was an overrated, stupid test... but, then I've never been one to follow the crowd.

Bostonian said...

SAT verbal scores may increase with age while math scores decline, as the author experienced.

SAT scores from 1999-2001 for 7th and 8th graders, and scores from 1997-1998 for older students, are at .

Here are the means, verbal followed math.

7th grade: 426, 447
8th grade: 493, 518

by age:
<20 477, 491
20 473, 477
21-24 486, 476
25-29 516, 474
30-39 525, 461
>=40 508, 437
all 483, 483

Verbal scores increase up to the age range 30-39 and then decrease. Math scores decline, especially after the 20-29 age range. People taking the SAT at age 30 differ from those taking at age 17 in more than age, so these numbers should be interpreted with caution.

JimH said...

I'm not sure if what I'm about to say is heresy....I feel that the SAT is a decent assessment of academic math ability.

No, it doesn't measure creativity or even problem solving ability necessarily, but it simply assesses whether a kid learned his Algebra and Geometry. In other words....does he know the nuts and bolts of math.

I don't believe there is anything wrong with attempting to measure whether a kid knows how to factor a quadratic or solve a proportion.

Allison said...

it's not heresy to some of us. but i'd say it tests mathematical maturity on atuff one should have learned in middle school math more than anything else. readcrhe comments:

SteveH said...

Also, ability is not really the correct word. Since the SAT and ACT are key factors in college acceptance, the most able students will work hard and do the best. However, My niece did exceptionally well on the ACT (34), but she has no great potential as a mathemetician or engineer. I think a math SAT score has a different meaning below and above 650-700.