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MIT staff blogger Matt McGann '00

Some Notes by Matt McGann '00

Misc. fun stuff.

  • Today is the first day of final exam week at MIT. [read more: schedule]
  • 800+ students & alums came to Kresge Auditorium last night to watch Randal Pinkett PhD ’01 win the TV show “The Apprentice.” [read more: MITAA, Melis]
  •’s “Page 2” mocks MIT’s football team… [read more: Page 2]
  • …while the men’s basketball team heads into the break with a 7-1 record [read more: MITAthletics]
  • So, Summer got a 2300 on her SATs. In the fictional world of “The OC,” colleges might have quotas for particular high schools, but at MIT we admit the best students, regardless of who else is applying from a particular school. Dressing like a pirate, though, does earn you bonus points. [read more: TWoP]
  • Marilee was quoted in a recent Bloomberg News article on stress & college admissions [read more: Bloomberg]
  • The latest Harvard Business Review has a neat interview with Prof. Henry Jenkins about video games and the workplace. [read more: HBR]
  • Taiwan’s Quanta Computer Inc will manufacture the $100 Laptop. [read more: Slashdot, Taipei Times]
  • The New York Times has an article on the length of the new SAT. Some students and counselors think it is too long. What do you think? [read more: NYTimes]
  • Update for deferred students coming tomorrow. [read more: tomorrow]

52 responses to “Some Notes”

  1. Seth Cohen says:


    Hope you also have the best Christmukkah Barmitsfahkah everrrr.



    PS: If you

  2. Seth Cohen says:

    Dear Matt,

    Hope you also have the best Christmukkah Barmitsfahkah everrrr.



    PS: If you happen to talk to some Brown admissions guys… remind them of how hot I am.

  3. zoogies says:

    The SAT is much too long. It’s no longer a test of aptitude so much as a test of endurance. Then again, I suppose it’s not a bad idea that colleges want kids with attention spans longer than five minutes.

  4. Evan says:

    I personally thought that the new SAT was too long. The problem is that the test changes from being more or less an IQ test (remember – there was a point at which MENSA took SAT scores) to being an endurance test.

    Standardized testing never bothers me as a rule, but I left the new SAT exhausted.

    Boy was I glad when I saw my scores and decided I didn’t have to take it again.

  5. I just read that Bloomberg article where Marilee is quoted and I have to tell you that IMHO you folks in admissions are simply going about this wrong. I started to address the real root of the problem in Ben’s blog the other day. The #’s of applicants to colleges has ballooned but the #’s of spaces available have not. This is a function of some students taking longer than 4 years to complete degrees, lack of additional colleges being built, immigrants (legal & illegal), lack of funding, shortages of teachers, but mostly it is because of the baby boom generation offspring. Regardless of the reason, as I understand it these numbers have been steadily increasing. Is it really surprising then that the level of competition (and stress) would go along with this? There are just to few available spots.

    I was reading an article that discussed the situation specifically in the field of nursing (an area of interest to me for my stepdaughter):

    Here is a blip about the “baby boom echo” with regards to California universities:

    The most comprehensive piece I took a look at awhile ago was put out by the US Dept of Education in Sept 2005 “Projections of Education Statistics to 2014”:

    With regards to others commenting about my post saying that it would make acceptance less *special* if MIT (& other elite colleges) admitted say 100 more students (a 10% increase) this year. I think that is just plain silly. This is really a nominal #. I wasn’t suggesting some ridiculous # like 500. The demographics simply indicate a larger # of people applying nationwide. ALL colleges need to take in more students. I attempted in that post to suggest up ways of accommodating the increase in #’s while also minimizing the impact to the colleges. Colleges need to get creative about it.

    Anyway, it is rather ironic to me that in a year that MIT is boasting of increasing URM’s to 27% that the bottom rung of our society as a whole is being hurt. After all, the applicants to MIT are the leaders of the pack. If students don’t get into MIT they will indeed still go to a great school. This has the look and feel of a spiral trickle down effect. I believe that who will wind up hurt most will be the lesser educated and the poorest.

    What do I mean exactly by “spiral trickle down effect”?

    I’d say in general that ALL of the applicants to MIT are brilliant kids. So if a bunch don’t get into MIT we all know that they WILL get in somewhere else AND that somewhere else will be an *excellent* school. Now when there is an overage of applicants NATIONWIDE what happens to the applicants that would have originally gotten into the *excellent* school? They will end up instead in a *good* school. And so on and so on. Down to what exactly does happen to the average to below average students? Where will they go?

    Unfortunately I suspect that if MIT (and others of the top colleges) really wanted to help significant #’s of URM’s they’d take more students in as I originally suggested to accommodate this temporary anomaly. The end result will actually help more people IMHO not just a handful at the top that will do fine regardless.

    I know colleges are being squeezed financially from all ends. This is a real challenge and it probably won’t be met by the universities. I don’t know what else to say about it other than what I have already said. Just saying that kids should try not to be everything/do everything isn’t going to help (or work).

    On a more personal level while my son has applied to MIT, I also have a stepdaughter that is having a heck of a time finding a good college fit as she is more of an average student. This was what actually spurred me into understanding the demographics of the situation. I couldn’t understand why the majority of colleges were showing much higher average gpa’s/sat’s/etc since my older son had applied only a mere 3 years ago.

    Good luck to everyone here wherever you wind up. I know you will do well.

  6. One of the MIT student bloggers, Mollie, wrote an insightful post this week concerning effects other than just further crowding in dorms which would occur with admitting larger class sizes. It’s worth a read, she makes some very good points.

  7. Lindsay says:

    “The SAT shouldn’t be messed with. Too long? What is our lazy society coming to?”

    It’s not a matter of laziness; it’s a matter of stamina.

    When you force a student to sit in a chair for 5 hours, constantly looking down at their paper and filling in bubbles, they are going to get tired. I only took the SAT once, while most students applying take it multiple times. The reason I only took it once has nothing to do with me wanting a free Saturday.

    I fully agree with your following statement though: “A better solution is to reduce the emphasis placed on this exam in college admissions (which MIT has definitely done)”

    When I look at the chances threads at College Confidential, I see so many students getting a “you’ll never get in” based on their test scores. Since when does 5 hours make or break a person’s application? The tests do have some importance, but they don’t carry the heaviest weight.

  8. nehalita says:

    The SAT is way too long. Since I have already taken it, I look back with a vengeance and feel that everyone else should endure those long hours that I sat through.

    But honestly, the principle behind the new SAT is great but it’s just horrible to sit through. I think every adcom and every SAT maker should sit through alteast 3 SAT sessions and do the test themselves. Even better, they should do the 10RS book (10 real SATs) in a mock environment. That would make me feel better.

  9. Just a comment to those who are complaining about parents posting on these blogs. Whether you realize it or not, we parents also go through a transition when our children leave for college, a big one. And many of us pay every penny of the cost of our children’s college education. We have questions, too, and the MIT Admissions folks understand that and want to be sure we have the answers we need. Not all of us are fixated on SAT scores and the questions that so bother many of you at information sessions. We want our children to be happy and successful, and are looking for assurances that MIT is, in fact, a good place for our daughters and sons to launch into the rest of their lives. (Most of us find that it is a *great* place for this.)

    My son is now a first-year at MIT. This is the second year I’ve suggested a parent version of “MyMIT” so parents of applicants and current students could ask their questions and discuss their concerns separately. Perhaps someday that will exist. In the meantime, the blogs are one of the only places where we can connect with staff, current students, and each other, and learn from the benefit of those who have gone before us.

    btw, I do not visit the MITblogs through MyMIT: that was for my son, not for me. The blogs are publically available on the Internet for anyone who wants to view them ( is how I get to this one). Believe it or not, some of us *do* have our own very well-developed Internet skills: while Al Gore may not have helped “invent” the Internet, some of the others of us may have, in fact. wink

    Congratulations to everyone who was admitted EA, and best wishes to everyone who was deferred or will be applying RD. Wherever you go, have a great future: we’re counting on you.

  10. Jason Murray says:

    Haha, that football article is really great smile

  11. Lindsay says:

    ETS doesn’t stand for Educational Testing Service, but rather for Evil Testing Serpent (for those of you who have read ‘Up Your Score’, you know what I mean).

    I only took the SAT once because those long, grueling hours scared me away from taking it again. After only a few hours, I was so exhausted that I didn’t even care about the answers I was putting down, thus causing me to score lower.

  12. Mason says:

    All I remember after taking my SAT was being extraordinarily hungry after finishing…

  13. dood..the SAT is phenominally long..tyhe school i take it at is now starting it 30 mins earlier so pple don’t get out at 1:30


  14. anonymous says:

    Since MIT football has its “no hot shot” reputation, does that mean that somebody who didn’t play high school football experience can play for the team?

  15. The SAT is not really too long, it is just tiring. I think applicants will do better if they work on their test taking stamina a bit (practice). Honestly, once you get into the test it goes by pretty fast. Splitting the test up would remove one of the things that actually makes it hard, the length. I have come out of many AP tests feeling a lot more tired than I did after the SAT.

    As for Al Gore I think he probably still believes that he invented the internet.

  16. Lindsay says:

    Wow leftcoast mom, you actually know what a web address is? My mom can’t even open up internet explorer.

    The only time it really bothered me when parents posted was during the mail situation. Some parents were whining, saying “oh you broke my kid’s heart, now he/she is crying”. I don’t think it’s their place to tell off the admissions office; they need to leave that up to their kid.

  17. Julia Yoo says:

    OMGGGGGGGGG MATTTTT!!! I am SSOOOOOO Happy for RANDAL!!!!! MIT PRIDE Woot woot~ I was glued to my TV last night (when I shoulda been studying more for my calc test) but anyway my heart was beating so fast when Trump paused before saying “Randal….You’re hired!” Although many Minnesotans here were rooting for the other girl, seriously, no one compares to Randal!!!!!

    I wish I were there at the auditorium, it must have been SWEEEET!

  18. zoogies says:

    Ah, about that article trashing top ranked USNews schools and football…clearly, the writer was using some very high quality…uh, substances. What’s with this accusations of lacking pride, spirit, effort, desire to win, etc? Not being gung ho about athletics competition is not a crime! O woe to the world that Yale did not make the Fiesta Bowl…?

    Yes, losing one’s sense of excellence is tragic. It’s a pity that the word “excellence” has been twisted so, that the aggregate result of massive, half-honest recruiting operations can be called ‘excellence’ and the world-class research going on at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory counts for seemingly the opposite. There’s nothing wrong with athletics, and to say that MIT students or Princeton students don’t love athletics is to be absolutely wrong. But since when has not focusing so singularly on athletics been a “national disgrace?” Oh no, the Ivy League doesn’t offer athletic scholarships. There’s enough complaint about athletic shoe-ins at Ivy League schools as it is!

    I love this sentence in particular:

    “Besides, what else is the school going to do with that much loot? Spend it all on lifesaving medical research?”

    But oh well, since Caltech “doesn’t bother fielding a football team,” it clearly deserves an F for effort.

  19. Chad Rockey says:

    To be honest, everytime I see a parent post on MyMIT it freaks me out… I hate it. (Hear that parents, HATE IT!) My mom didn’t even know where Boston was on a map before I mentioned MIT 5 years ago…

    Maybe the stress is being caused by parents and the fear of failure? My english teacher always quotes Mark Twain and how when he was asked how his kids turned out so successful, what did he do? and that he’d always respond that he took no interest in them. This is what my parents have done… I have made a few mistakes, I’m socially scared (well, girls anyways); but I’m so glad that I can be the huge nerd that I am and that my parents allow me to love whatever I want.

    I went to one of those MIT informational EC meetings, and so many of the kids there were bored of out their minds… They obviously did not want to go to MIT, and this was further proved when only their parents asked questions. I even knew all the tidbits and facts the admissions counsellor (I think it was Jenny Rifken?) spewed out. I even knew of Walter Lewin’s period of pendulum is independent of the mass experiement. Of course, I’m watching his OCW lectures along with my online AP Physics course that I had to FIGHT for, because my high school doesn’t even have a physics teacher anymore.

    Of course, I’m fine with myself and who I am. I’m not very stressed out over admissions, although I am kinda down because of my deferral to MIT. I saw parents comment online that they found their son/daughter’s tube and were so excited they had to come and post here. My mom can’t even find the MIT website, so when someone who’s that much into their child’s interests posts; it hurts to see someone who probably doesn’t want to go to an “Institute of Technology” be pressured into applying and/or going while I and probably a thousand kids like me have to wait another three months.

    Parents: it’s ok to not take the toughest classes. I had to drop to a “lower level” English last year to take Mythology – it turned out to be the best thing because now the math nerd is more prepared than anyone in AP English, especially the kids who took Honors English. Just let your son/daughter do what he/she wants and it’ll be fine. And finally, it’s called “MyMIT”. Not “ParentsLookingOverTheirHonorStudentsShouldersMIT”. It’s ours…, we’re all young adults now and wherever we go outside the nest is where we need to be.

  20. Lindsay says:

    I fully agree with you Chad, and I was about to make a post about the same topic (you beat me to it though raspberry).

    It would bother me if my parents were posting on MyMIT (though they would never figure out how). All of us are about to go off to college, and we need to gain our independence. I recently saw a student (who got accepted) post about how his babysitter drove him around to find the mailman. As Charles said, how does having a babysitter demonstrate leadership?

  21. zoogies says:

    Lindsay: Your mom uses internet explorer? wink

  22. Lori says:

    The SAT shouldn’t be messed with. Too long? What is our lazy society coming to? The continuous, seemingly endless nature of the test keeps scores in check. The petition isn’t even that big; i’m surprised the College Board even heeded it. If you mess with the status quo, it better be for good reason. Let’s put things into perspective (give it some context if you will): one (or two) Saturdays and several hours. Boo hoo hoo. Halo 2 can wait until next Saturday. A better solution is to reduce the emphasis placed on this exam in college admissions (which MIT has definitely done).

  23. Shannon says:

    In regards to the football article:

    Honestly, maybe those of us who WANT to go to places like MIT and other top colleges desire something more in our education than a good football team. People who choose MIT for 4 years of their life want to actually change the world forever, not just for the 4 hours it will take to finish a bowl game. Anyone who genuinely deserves to attend these higher institutions most likely has many more important thoughts than whether their football team is doing well. It’s nice, but I would tend to think that finding a cure for cancer is a wee bit more important.

    And Wenhao Sun, I commend you. This comment was fantabulous:

    “Oh wait, now your mother is terminally ill. Oh well, at least you have the rose bowl.”


    And zoogies, that above was sarcasm. wink

  24. nenuial says:

    Chad – I know what you mean about parents. I remember when I attended some college tours and information sessions, and just thinking it was ridiculous to see parents asking a thousand questions. “Do you have good music lessons for non-majors so my son can play piano?” “What SAT scores do you need?” Meanwhile, the kid would just stand or sit there, kind of looking at the ground. You could just tell that he/she didn’t want to be there. I can only imagine how sick the tour guides and admissions counselors are of answering the SAT question – all the statistics are available online; help yourself.

    Zoogies – I don’t believe that article was being serious. I hope so, at least. It was in the manner of Swift’s “A Modest Proposal” with the clear logic, yet utter ridiculousness of the argument (eating babies… tasty :-D) If you’ve never read that, do.

    I have issues with commitment, and therefore refused to apply anywhere ED. However, one advantage of applying to a school EA is that you are forced to finish some essays early. Therefore, even if you are deferred, you don’t have to cram finishing other apps too much thanks to… essay recycling!

    I do have one question for Matt: How much of a role does having relatives who are alumni play in the admissions process? Would a student with “legacy” who was admitted EA definitely have been admitted without it?

  25. Nenuial says:

    leftcoast mom – If parents are truly interested in the life of the students at MIT, and whether MIT is the right place for their children, I have absolutely not qualms with your involvement. It’s just that I see far too many of my classmates who are constantly being pushed and judged by their parents (this is also much more common in my friends with Chinese/Indian parents) based on their grades, SAT scores, and college that they are accepted to. These are the parents who force their children to multiple SAT prep classes, re-write their essays for them, and force them to to drop activities if their grades show the slightest drop. Sometimes, if a child dares to go off the mainstream – say, become a music education major – that’s about the worst calamity that can happen. These are the parents who are trying to “live their hopes and dreams” through their children. Unlike you, they are pushing their children to succeed in a certain way rather than supporting them to succeed in their own way.

    SAT – I’d agree it gets extremely headache-ey by the end. Wenhao has a good point that the single five-minute break, which happens right at the beginning, is ridiculous. By the time you get to the last writing section at the end, all I could think about was how badly I had to go to the bathroom, instead of what the answers to the questions were. AP tests are much more fun; they have a nice large break right in the middle.

    zoogies – I wasn’t quite sure about the article (I’m not familiar w/ the writer or anything), but I’m pretty sure it’s satirical. Or, as long as we’re on the subject of SAT’s, I would say it was if it was an SAT question.

  26. Lindsay says:

    “Lindsay: Your mom uses internet explorer? wink

    Well, only if she can get it opened.

  27. Chad Rockey says:

    My mom uses Mozilla Firellama! Errr…. Watercat…. well, I’m not sure anymore (and neither is she because I installed Firefox’s FireSomething entension that randomly changes the name of the program!)

    As for the standardized tests: I only took each once… that’s all I could afford money wise. Of course, I DID get the question and answer stuff too, but that was just for my own curiosity: I couldn’t stand finding out what I missed (Ok, at least in the Math and Science parts of the SAT and ACT respectively – all that English and Lit stuff can go away). And since I’m in Ohio, we were raised from the corn to be ACT’ers, so needless to say, driving 2 hours in the snow and cold last Feburary did not help my SAT score any. Oh yea, and I’m a habitual guesser! ARGGHH!!!

    To leftcoast mom, arguably redirects to MIT Undergrad Admissions and MyMIT, thusly serving as a part of MyMIT. But since parents have a way of needing to be in places, sure, a PaMIT is a good idea and should be looked into by the staff, if they ever find their heads wink. As for paying for college, I won’t let my parents contribute a cent or sign a single paper if at all possible. It’s my education, why do I need to leech off my parents for anywhere from $12,000 for Local U or $164,000 for MIT? Of course, it won’t be nearly as much because of grants and scholarships hopefully. My two step sisters (ages 36 and 28 – I’m 18, so my mom had us all about a decade apart) paid for their education, and so will I. Considering my parents have no savings, they didn’t save for my college or their retirement. My dad is a self-employeed construction worker and my mom works at a car factory. Both are so intelligent, but it’s just a sign of the times where they grew up. They are the original baby-boomer generation where a high school degree was outstanding and teachers were glad if you just showed up to class, yet alone learned. My dad can’t work in the winter, because the ground is too far frozen to install septic systems (for those in the city who may not know, that’s where the biological waste goes out in the country), so we always end up in tough times come January. I’m 18 now, and I’ve accepted that to achieve my goal of being the absolute dumbest guy in my class (may not even happen at MIT, but it’s better than having to help teachers design tests or get such a superstition around you*) that I’m willing to accept whatever debt I need, solely for the passion of my lovely math and physics. (Hugs them)

    * – yea, one of the Advanced Math classes, yes that’s a course name for what should be PreCalc – shows something about my school, found out that I haven’t missed a point in Calclus as of yet. I tried to tell them that I think it’s the most fun and greatest thing ever, but they are just shocked and revolted, and probably jealous unfortunitally. Everyone on Earth is the absolute best at something, but I promised myself that I won’t be bored in college, so hopefully I won’t be the best at more than my fair share again. (If you’re curious, I’m best at Calculus and drawing Cats now…, but I want to cut that Calculus part out! raspberry)

  28. One:

    I agree that the new SAT is much too long.


    Matt, I have a bit of a problem. I am(was) an EA candidate from WI, and, as of 2300 CDT, I have recieved absolutely nothing in relation to my acceptance/deferral/denial. I know that my application made it well ahead of the deadline, unless the myMIT system is messing with me.

    Now, I realize that mail sent from the east coast generally gets to the midwest a day later than other locations along the east coast, and that it’s the holiday season, thus the USPS is rather overbooked. However, the fact that it has been a full week since everything was sent out of your offices is making me quite apprehensive. Can you offer up any further explanation for this horrid phenomenon?

  29. Julia says:

    Regarding the football team article…

    Ok, so sports is awesome in that it is entertaining for many to watch and play. However, it is trivial compared to academics and research…seriously, how is having an undefeated record in Divion I going to change the world? It won’t, but winning a nobel prize in science certainly will.

    I am still a sports fan, but just a much bigger fan of scientific breakthroughs that occur every day at MIT. And not that it really matters, but what the h were the us news report thinking when they ranked MIT down to #7? it’s the greatest school on the planet hands down.

  30. Sarah says:

    I totally agree with the above comment, although I have to admit that I was one of those bored out my mind at the information session. Of course, I had a reason. We had to drive two hours in bad weather just to get a seat in the back where we couldn’t hear anything and all the person talked about was stuff that I’d already found out on the website and the only questions people asked were whether their son had to join the military to go to college (I think they were foreign).

  31. Sarah says:

    wow, a lot of people posted at the same time, I meant that i agreed with Chad’s post.

  32. Timur Sahin says:

    Dressing like a pirate earns you bonus points?

    It appears there is some speculation on MIT’s practices regarding training the pirates of tomorrow.

    Of course, I have NO idea how that got there. wink

  33. Justin says:

    As far as messing with the SAT goes, the College Board did that when they changed the scores for the first time from a 1600 max to a 2400. That would make them the ones who broke the status quo. As any MIT applicant would know, taking 3 SAT IIs still gets you out an hour and a half before the SAT I finishes.

    As fas as the football goes, I would find it more satirical if I did not know people who thought that way. Now, if they only penalized NFL teams for losing records. (I have had to put up with the Saints sucking for years. Their greatest accomplishment is winning ONE playoff game in franchise history.)

    As far as USNWR, the only thing that matters is MIT’s #1 ranking for grad and undergrad engineering.

    What happened to ninjas?

  34. Alison says:

    What deferrals really need to know is this: what percent of EA’s were deferred? what percent of deferred applicants are admitted RD? (in past years) I would also like to know what percent of EA’s v. RD’s are URMs and same question for females. While we’re on it: what percentage of URM’s, females and none-of-the-above are admitted in general?

  35. Anonymous says:

    I agree; the new SAT is freakishly long, though I’d prefer longer with breaks than shorter without breaks. Of course, I was half-asleep anyways, so… nevermind.

    That football article is hilarious! I can imagine that article running in The Onion. It certainly has the mock-serious-yet-absurd tone right.

    So if I major in Piracy, can I minor in Ship Repair and take Parrot as a foreign language?

  36. Eric says:

    Oops, I forgot my name above.

    Arrr! Ah be walking thar plank now!

  37. zoogies says:

    I thought the article wasn’t serious and was a little hesitant to post (I would/am look very stupid =p), but I don’t know. Look at the context; it’s in the ESPN columnist section; not as if it’s appearing in The Onion. If he’s trying to prove the opposite point, he’s going about it in a very bad way, as he spends most of the article arguing otherwise. And as Justin said, I know people who think that way.

    I don’t know though. It’s hard to tell sarcasm on internet, and I fail at this with disturbing regularity.


    I don’t need a hidden ninja degree (I walk through walls and just pwned Godzilla in pitched combat the other night), but a pirate degree sounds intruiging.

  38. Alan says:

    >Matt, I have a bit of a problem. I am(was) an EA

    >candidate from WI, and, as of 2300 CDT, I have

    >recieved absolutely nothing in relation to my

    >acceptance/deferral/denial. I know that my

    >application made it well ahead of the deadline,

    >unless the myMIT system is messing with me.

    >Now, I realize that mail sent from the east coast

    >generally gets to the midwest a day later than

    >other locations along the east coast, and that

    >it’s the holiday season, thus the USPS is rather

    >overbooked. However, the fact that it has been a

    >full week since everything was sent out of your

    >offices is making me quite apprehensive. Can you

    >offer up any further explanation for this horrid


    I’m also from Wisconsin, and likewise haven’t received any mail. However, I called Thursday and now know I’m deferred. Slow mail is, I assume, why MIT makes results available over the phone. If you don’t get a letter tomorrow, call Monday morning. Good luck!

  39. zoogies says:

    “That’s more than enough to hire Pete Carroll, build a shiny new weight room and outbid the SEC for top high school talent. Heck, that’s more than enough to purchase the New England Patriots outright, then enroll Tom Brady and company in sham continuing education courses to ensure their intercollegiate eligibility (after buying out the NCAA and its compliance department, of course).”


    Ah. It appears Nenuial was right. I feel really, really dumb right now x_x

    But the author of that article is still an airhead! I mean, who calls Caltech “Cal Tech?” tongue laugh

  40. Mridul says:

    If I had got another 15 mins for the SAT Math L2 Subject I would have got 800 perfect

  41. Anonymous says:

    so..i was going to post..and now i don’t know wut to say..u mean pples stole everything! lol

    neways..the SAT should be banished..


    i like it sorta

    i hat eit..but it’s good for me because some pple don’t trust the education that homeschoolers get and it gives me a chance to prove that i am as smart as i say ^_^

  42. Lindsay says:

    I remember on Saved by the Bell, Kelly said “The SAT measures a person’s intelligence, not how hard they work”

    To me, the SAT is starting to become a test that measures how hard a person works. Considering you can pick up a variety of helpful SAT books at any book store, many students have resorted to studying for the tests. I don’t think scores should be a result of how hard a person prepares for the test, but rather a result of their intelligence.

    I watched a bogus program earlier in the year where 10 year olds were sitting in a SAT learning program. Some of them were planning on attending SAT prep programs for years. How can a fairly decent intelligent person compete with that?

  43. that last anon was me

    i’m using a different computer and i keep forgetting to type in my name!

    and i agree w/ you lindsay

    those who have the money or the time to prepare have a HUGE advantage…and that’s not fair

  44. Victoria says:

    I didn’t mind the fact that the SAT was long… I mean, I usually have consecutive block tests… like AP Bio and AP Physics both had all of their tests on the same days for me last year… but longer breaks would be nice. Either that, or being allowed to eat in the testing room. When the room is large and the desks are crowded together, it’s hard to get out, eat a bite, then run back to the assigned seat. But the length isn’t that much of an issue.

    I’m not so sure about the whole athletics furor. I mean, how much does being a top-ranked, I don’t know, bowler or golfer help you be successful? Yes, it may go with other qualities, but I’m not so sure that colleges should be judged on the quality of their athletics, and I’m not so sure that colleges should judge applicants on their athletic abilities, either. Time spent is one thing… but something that probably won’t prove too useful in an academic setting is something else altogether. Although some athletic ability is needed for some hacks…

    Chad, there is nothing wrong with being a nerd. Actually, I’m the president of the nerd club at my school. There’s actually a club, yes. And it is very sad that some people are pressured by their parents to go to a school that totally does not suit them… and then they hire tutors to revise their applications so that they look like they truly want to attend… and then people like us who deeply care about the institution that we’re applying to, that really want to attend it, get lost in the shuffle.

    Lori, you’re definitely right about how some things can be postponed. But I know some people that rushed through the SAT and refused to take it more than once… because they had better things to do, like play first-person shooter video games….

    I think some students don’t ask very many questions because they’ve already looked them up. I think at a single information session I heard the SAT question asked five times by parents… no students asked, possibly because they didn’t care or more probably because it was listed on the flier they gave us.

    MIT is definitely the greatest school on the planet. Hands (and grippers, claws, paws, and other extensors… if you don’t have hands)down.

  45. Sandy says:

    Chad – you’re right. However, I think it comes accross in the application whether the kid wants to go to the school or not. An application to a school that your parent is forcing you to fill out is going to have MUCH less passion that one you choose to do.

    My parents left me completly alone in the application process. I picked my schools (I had a very simple list, actually). The only thing they asked was “Do you want to go visit some colleges? Where and when?” the summer before my senior year.

    Everything else was left up to me. Research, applications, essays, SATs, etc. My parents had no clue my MIT tube was even comming the week it did. They don’t know of or college confidential or anything.

    But this hands off approach allowed me to apply to where I was interested to go, instead of being pestered by parents (like some of my friends have) to apply to 20 schools with 30 different essays, 18 of which the kid has no interest attending.

    Some of my friend’s parents are filling out their apps for them. One of my friend’s dad had him write about 8 different essays over summer, and then his father filled out apps to about 16 schools with the essays my friend wrote, and filled in his extra cirriculars and everything else on the essay for him.

    It’s understandable that parents are worried about their children’s futures, but laying off a bit and letting the child pick where he wants to spend the next FOUR YEARS of his life (it’s not your life, parents, it’s his) is something you must do.

  46. Wenhao Sun says:

    Personally, I didn’t find the SAT too long, it was just the lack of breaks that bothered me. And it’s not because I was tired, but it’s because of the proctor. This is a true story of what happened:

    The SAT’s only 5 minute break (and I didn’t know the only part):

    Proctor: Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated during the test!

    Me: *drinks water

    Hour and a half later

    Me: Wow, I really need to use the bathroom after drinking 3/4 of a water bottle. Can I go?

    Proctor: NO BATHROOM BREAKS RAOHGHHGHG *breathes fire*

    Me: *whimpers

    Sigh… stupid collegeboard.

    Is anyone else bothered by the fact that Collegeboard charges so much money to send scores? I mean, does it REALLY take 9 dollars to send some numbers, regardless of method, to anywhere in the world… in THREE WEEKS??? Well, I suppose if you wanted it mailed fast you could pay them 22 dollars to send an email in only TWO business days. Thank you for not screwing us over. Seriously.

    And that athletics thing was pretty funny … “Maybe good schools could take out some money from their 25.9 billion dollar endowment to not save lives and improve mankind.” You’re right! Oh wait, now your mother is terminally ill. Oh well, at least you have the rose bowl.

  47. Wenhao Sun says:

    Ok, all joking aside, let me say a couple things. We take the SAT for a reason. Some schools have 3 AP classes, some schools have 23, my school has IB, some people are homeschooled! How can an admissions officer get a comparison between ALL the schools in the United States when schools themselves are so different? The only way is from a standardized test like the SAT. The SAT is the same for any person in the world, hence, ‘standardized’. That’s why admissions officers use it. If you had a 4.0, and a 1200 on the SAT (I hope I’m not offending anyone that does), what does that say about your school? What does that say about you? Don’t tell me that the SAT is not a measure of intelligence; it really is, in fact, check the name, Scholastic APTITUDE Test. Just because you complain that if you had 15 more minutes you could have gotten 800 on a section doesn

  48. sports nut says:

    Wow….I thought MIT applicants were supposed to be smart. Either you guys don’t undertsand sarcasm, or you’ve never read ESPN’s Page 2….

  49. Mollie says:

    For an “anonymous” pretty far up the page, just in case he’s still reading —

    Yes, you can play for the MIT football team even if you never played in high school — my friend Topher ’04 did just that! Most of the players on the team did play in high school, though.

  50. Anonymous says:

    You can play for any college football team even if you hadn’t played in high school. But you still have to be good.

  51. Wenhao Sun,

    i agree w/ you that we need a standardizer..i’m home schooled and i don’t have ANY AP courses

    i just wish the SAT wasn’t soo bad and i wish that it wasn’t soo easy for ppl ew/ a lot of money to get an avantage by paying for expensive courses

  52. mike says:

    Thanks mollie. I’ve always wanted to play football again; I was injured my freshman year. MIT is about the only place where I can play (no offense, the rest are DI or DII powerhouses). Coach Smith, however, does not seem too interested in me.

    I found the football article quite entertaining. And it even quoted my favorite person in the whole world, Joe Paterno (second favorite, Matt’s my favorite of course). Joe Paterno has been my role model in life and I even wrote my college essay on him. Which brings me to my next point.

    Football is more instructional than most people think. I learned more from my year of football than I did in any course or from reading any book. I think that people should understand it before they bash it.