Would Shakespeare Get Into Swarthmore?

It’s old news. I know. I just found it. I also like how this professor has saved the entire webpage, including the adverts for his class.

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Would Shakespeare really blow the new SAT? Some Princeton Review people talk about what it takes to ace the new essay section of the SAT.

“To receive a high score a student should write a long essay of three or more paragraphs, with each paragraph containing topic and concluding sentences and at least one sentence that includes the words “for example.” Whenever possible the student should use polysyllabic words where shorter, clearer words would suffice. The SAT essay will not be a place to take rhetorical chances. Flair will win no points; the highest-scoring essays will be earnest, long-winded, and predictable.”

They then proceed to analyze writing samples by Hemingway, Shakespeare, Gertrude Stein (who does particularly badly), and the Unabomber. Of course, the Unabomber’s writing style is what the “holistic” graders at the SAT will be looking for. Very amusing, but should we worry that something is terribly wrong with the test?

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