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Studying For The SAT's

OK, this note is to HIGH-SCHOOL STUDENTS who are looking forward to applying for a college athletic scholarship. With the competition getting tougher each school year, and with the current NCAA Clearing House requirements, I want to stress the importance of the upcoming college exams in your life. Yes, I want you to stop piercing your ears for a moment and listen to me, because I'm going to talk to you about a topic that is more important to your future than anything else except volleyball -- your SATs.

It is very unfortunate that these tests cause some of you to experience great stress -- or, as you say in your own teenage lingo, ``make a lift.'' You believe that if you get a low SAT score, you're a dope, and you will have to attend some third-rate college where the classrooms have wheels and the athletic teams have a nickname like ``The Fighting Frogs,'' and you'll wind up in some boring dead-end loser job such as rag picker or volleyball coach (remember good SAT scores mean you can be a volleyball official).

This is incorrect, readers! A low SAT score does NOT automatically mean failure! Remember that Ravi Narasimhan got only 240 on his verbal, and he went on to invent the volleyball antenna poles. And if that's not inspirational enough, let me tell you a little story about a young man named, Rip Van Winkle who took his first SAT and did very poorly. His parents were disappointed; his friends laughed at him; his dog went to the bathroom on his feet. But that young man did not give up. He signed up to take the SAT again, and he prepared by getting up every day at 3:30 a.m. to study, and when the time came to take the second SAT, he walked into that testing room and set an record -- which will probably never be broken -- for falling asleep. Today he makes his living wearing ill-fitting pants and dancing the Marvin Hall Hustle while officiating lines for the AVP.

The point, young jocks, is that there is a right way and a wrong way to prepare for your SATs, and unless you are even stupider than you spell, you want to do it the right way. To help you, I would like to present the following list of ``Common Questions and Answers About the SAT,'' which was prepared by the American Association of High School Volleyball Professionals meeting at the RedAndYellowCard Lounge and Grill.

Q. What is the SAT?
A. The term ``SAT'' is a set of initials, or ``antonym,'' standing for ``Scholastic Apparel Tribulation.'' This is a series of tests that predict your ability to perform in the college environment by measuring the degree to which you possess knowledge that nobody would ever in a million years actually need.

Q. What is the origin of the SAT?
A. The SAT was developed by the prestigious Educational Testing Service, which is located in Princeton, N.J., home of Princeston University. The original idea behind the SATs, was to get even with the Harvard University students for painting the townhall crimson red. But the current reason is believed to be an effort ``to sell a huge quantity of No. 2 pencils that Princeston University ordered by mistake. ''So the E.T.S. invented a standardized test wherein high-school students were required to fill in circles on an answer sheet. The first SATs had no questions: Your score was based entirely on how many circles you filled in, and you could get extra credit by writing on your desk. When colleges complained that too many students were getting high scores, the E.T.S. introduced questions, mostly on topics of interest to E.T.S. personnel, such as ``Where can you get decent Chinese food in the Princeton, N.J., area?'' Today, the questions are developed by a prestigious team of world-renowned academic experts, who get them from watching Jeopardy.

Q. Does the SAT ever contain errors?
A. Yes. Just last year, for example, an alert California youngster named Jeremy Smarterthanyou received national attention when he noticed that, contrary to what he had learned in physics class, the SAT defined ``gravity'' as "a six pack to the face."

Q. What happened when this was brought to the attention of the Educational Testing Service?
A. Everybody enjoyed a hearty laugh, and then Jeremy's score was changed to minus 46,000 points, thus assuring that no college would ever accept him. He is currently employed in the field of sand maintenance on the Bud Lite Tour.

Q. Was the SAT definition of ``gravity'' changed?
A. Yes. It is now defined as ``a six pack to the face by a heavy ball.''

Q. What should I do if I don't know the answer to a multiple-choice SAT question?
A. Experts suggest that you start by ``weeding out'' the answers that are obviously false. Some of the tell tale signs to look for are:
-- The answer contains swear words.
-- The answer is followed by a little sarcastic note in parenthesis such as, ``Oh, sure, THAT makes sense.''
The answer contains the phrase ``according to a White House spokesperson.''

Q. I have heard that I can increase my SAT score by attaching a $20 bill to the answer sheet. Is this true?
A. ``Absolutely not,'' stated an Educational Testing Service spokesperson who identified him/herself as Pat. ``You're going to have to do way better than that, with the price of decent Chinese food being what it is in Princeton area.'' Bob noted that the record for highest SAT score ever is still held by Madona, who, while only in sixth grade, got 117 billion points--some question her relationship to the graders.

Q. Can you give me the answers to this year's SAT test?
A. Well, I suppose if you sent me a large sum of cash money, I could. But that would be wrong, and I would never do such a thing, according to a recent NCAA coaches poll