July 15, 2007

How to score higher on the SAT

A reader writes:

On the SAT (at least when I was coaching it in the late 1980s for The Princeton Review), there were six reading comprehension passages. One of these was the "diversity" passage -- always about a woman or minority. Without even reading the passage itself, a smart person who understood how the test is designed and understood that the answers would never suggest anything derogatory about women/minorities, could get most of the questions correct. I used to amuse my father and older brothers by demonstrating how this worked. The principles I learned at TPR work, more or less, on any standardized college/professional school entrance test.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Yes, I remember this too.

The example they gave us (apparently from a real reading comprehension question) was something like:

It can be inferred that the writer of this passage views the writing of female authors with:

(a) contempt

(b) disdain


Even without reading the passage, you know that choices (a) and (b) are incorrect.

MensaRefugee said...

[Liberal] See? SEE! SEE?? I TOLD you the SAT is coachable! All those rich kids paying to keep the poor poor kids down. Horrible! JUST HORRIBLE!!!! *gasp* *cough* [/Liberal]

michael farris said...

"the answers would never suggest anything derogatory about women/minorities"

Sort of like the mirror opposite of the comment section here...

OlaAmigos said...

That's pretty hilarious. Cynical, but hey, if the SAT score is trying to measure how well you are going to do in the academic system, diversity = unqualified good is something you are going to need to know. And the system is going to want people who know this implicitly. Could get tricky if this has to be explained too much.

Anonymous said...

To Michael Farris -- Your comment is typical of liberals who can't follow the bouncing ball. The comments are critical of the contrived manner of standardized tests such as the SAT always and predictably casting women and minorities in a positive way. The comments are not critical of women and minorities per se.

Horatio said...

The old analytical section on the GRE was like that too. There would inevitably be a problem about four workers, Juanita, Carl, Tyrone and Maggie. You would be given some conditions about their morning routine and how long each task took and what time they had to get to work by, etc. If the question was:

If the bus arrives at 7:00AM ______ will be late for work.

You can bet the answer will not be Juanita or Tyrone and probably not Maggie either. Only the white man can be the bad guy.

It's like that in comedic movies made for an American black audience too. There is ALWAYS an evil white man in those movies.

Josh said...

I have watched a few of the so-called "black TV shows",the ones on the smaller netowrks that wind up rated #1 or 2 for blacks,and 98 for the Gen Pop;long ago,when I had a crush on Lisa Bonet I watched her Cosby spin-off a few times.(Different World...as opposed to Dif'rent Strokes) The girls were all black except for one white girl in the 1st season. Her character was a minor and annoying little pain in the butt,there as a foil for the others(but not demeaning like with a white male,just annoying);anyway I caught an old episode one nite by chance years later and lo and behold! that girl was Marissa Tomei!:D She was stealing every scene,she was great! I gues thats why her character "went away" after 1 season. Anyway,the dumb white guy who lusts (unsuccesfully) after the black girl is a staple on these shows.

Peter said...

It's like that in comedic movies made for an American black audience too. There is ALWAYS an evil white man in those movies.

There almost always are evil white men on episodes of the various Law & Order shows - which are shows made by whites, for whites.

Horatio said...

"There almost always are evil white men on episodes of the various Law & Order shows - which are shows made by whites, for whites."

Steve has blogged about all the white murderers on Law & Order before. He believes it is anti-white leftist bias, but now that I think about it, I think he's wrong. I've lived in New York and Law & Order would be a boring show if they concentrated on typical crimes.

A typical crime in New York looks like this. Some black or Puerto Rican guy gets drunk and decides he wants another 40, but he has run out of money. He gets a ski mask and a gun from his mom's apartment and proceeds to rob the local bodega at gunpoint. He happens to be a regular patron of this bodega so the owner recognizes his voice and the police find him and the gun within an hour. Not much material there for a show. You don't need a 3 digit IQ and a forensic scientist to figure that one out.

But white people are often smart enough to commit crimes that make detectives really work. This is something other white people actually find interesting.

Anonymous said...

"There almost always are evil white men on episodes of the various Law & Order shows"

Ah, Law & Order - where the cases are ripped from the headlines - *with the races flipped*.

Our Steve writes about the general subject of such bias, here:


Anonymous said...

White "noblesse oblige" requires reflexive genuflection to any minority. Even when the minority is a majority.

Anonymous said...

I usually tell people when they find out about various test scores and GPAs that I'm not really smart, that I'm just good at taking tests. I get inside the head of the test maker and break his test like I'm a bombe. For instance, I took the AP Environmental Science test without taking the class and scored a 5. I don't remember much about the test but I can see where it would be full of politically correct choices like the woman example. Maybe that's what I was picking up on, one of the only questions I remember was about the canary in a coal mine.