One of the unique tortures of being a high school student (beyond the general angst of adolescence, of course) is sitting through the SAT, that all-important standardized test that has the power to make or break college applications. In a new video from BuzzFeed, parents take the SAT, and the results are a good reminder of how intensely not-fun that test is. As one of the parents summarizes part way through the exam: “I can’t.”
At the beginning of the video, one mom remarks, “I’m having anxiety just looking at this.” The parents proceed to grumble and stumble their way through the critical reading, writing and language, and math sections of the test. They seem fairly surprised by how difficult and confusing the test can be (one mom describes the test as “obtuse”), as well as how uncomfortable it is to have to sit and focus on the exam for so long.
Fun fact: Years ago, I used to tutor high school students prepping for the SAT, and if I learned anything from that experience, it’s that the SAT isn’t really about how smart or educated you are. What the SAT measures best is how good you are at taking the SAT. Last year a study found that students take an average of 112.3 standardized tests between pre-K and 12th grade — suggesting that a significant portion of what kids do in school is simply learn to take standardized exams, which is a skill of its own, separate from skills in math, reading, and so on.
What the parents in the video amply show is that, once you become an adult, the standardized test-taking skills you spend so much time developing as a child and teenager go by the wayside. At the end, one mom sums up how we all feel about the SAT: “Never make me do that again.”
Watch the whole video below:
Images: YouTube (3)