There was a most interesting SAT exam question on the test administered one week ago today, reports Jacques Steinberg of “The New York Times” and it has to do with the scandal brewing at Penn State where legendary football coach Joe Paterno has been forced out due to a child sex abuse scandal involving one of his former assistant coaches. The question had to do with the differences between what is right and what is wrong and it asked students to use examples from their reading or experiences to cite examples of people who are caught in the complex space of not knowing what’s the right thing to do. We, at Ivy Coach, believe Joe Paterno did know what the right thing to do was. He just didn’t choose to do it.
Do you think the College Board was tipped off that a scandal such as this was about to hit the headlines? No, likely not. The test is prepared well in advance. And it’s often the case that the questions can be directly applied to a current story in the headlines. Remember last March’s SAT question on reality television? The questions tend to lend themselves to stories such as these because they’re so open-ended. It’s why you can certainly prep for the writing portion of the SAT well in advance by figuring out what you should write even if you don’t know the question. If you study certain subject matters thoroughly, you can often use your knowledge in these areas to craft a winning essay – regardless of the question. It’s all just about tailoring your pre-planned response to the specific question.