Does It Work? Essay

2119 words - 9 pages

Sample Student 1
Sample Student
Professor Tavis
English 101
November 28, 2012
Does It Work?
How do we measure intelligence? Today most college's look to the SAT
to find this answer, but what is this test examining? Is it a measure of what an individual
knows or how much that individual can learn? The stated purpose of the SAT is to show
college's "how well you can apply the skills you learned in high school" (FAQs).
People would assume that knowing this score would give colleges an idea about an
individual's intelligence. However, The Princeton Review states, the SAT "measures
neither intelligence nor the stuff you're learning in high school" (Robinson vii).
Princeton, one of the top ranked ...view middle of the document...

e. Scholastic
Assessment Test), are completed by thousands of students in the United Sates. For
many students the SAT is one of the most, if not the most, important measure of
academic achievement because it plays a dominant role in the high stakes
decisions of college admissions. For this reason the SAT is of great interest to
students and the public in general (Hannon 1).
Students will spend time learning how to get the highest possible score on the SAT
because so much of their future success hinges on that score. These students are learning
to pass the SAT, but are they ready to succeed in life? Just because a student gets a 2400
out of 2400 on the SAT doesn't mean that they will have the skills to get a job, or the
common sense to balance their checkbook. Teachers sometimes help this behavior along.
Some teachers "spend hours of precious teaching and learning time preparing children for
tests because we (teachers) know that if we don't our data will not look good and we will
inevitably fail the next inspection" (Davies 33). Teacher's job security depends on their
students succeeding. If the parents of a student read about a schools' test scores going
down, what is their automatic response? They will most likely think that the students at
that school lack intelligence. Perhaps they think that the teachers there are not doing their

Sample Student 3
jobs very well. These stereotypes and misconceptions have a detrimental effect on both
students and teachers. Getting into a good college, receiving scholarships to help pay for
college, all these items depend on a students test taking ability.
What is intelligence? One possible definition of intelligence is "the ability to learn
from one's experiences, acquire knowledge, and use resources effectively in adapting to
new situations or solving problems" (Ciccarelli 265). What does this passage mean when
it mentions knowledge? Does it mean 'street smarts', 'book smarts' or another definition
entirely? No one person has been able to come up with an idea about intelligence that
satisfies everyone. For the sake of argument, let's compare the intelligence as measured
by the SAT to intelligence as defined by Howard Gardner's Theory of Multiple
Intelligences.
Gardner theorized that there are nine different parts of intelligence. Gardner's
nine forms of intelligence are verbal/linguistic, logical/mathematical, interpersonal,
intrapersonal, musical, movement, naturalist, and existentialist (Ciccarelli 266). If we use
Gardner's idea of intelligence, the SAT only measures verbal/linguistic and
logical/mathematical intelligence. The writing and reading sections can speak to our
knowledge of the English language, which is part of verbal intelligence. The math scores
address how well we can use logical thought and use an algorithm. These skills are
important, if one wishes to succeed in college, but they are not the sum of a person's
intelligence. What about the other seven forms of intelligence? Athletes and...

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