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• Are teenage book-readers for real? The College Board wants to know.

By ANNA BRENNAN [Arma Virumque] – This year, we [SAT] test-takers were presented with the following question:

Do people benefit from forms of entertainment that show so-called reality, or are such forms of entertainment harmful?

According to the College Board website, all questions that appear on the SAT are subject to a “careful review process” in which each question is “reviewed by a team of experts to make sure it reflects what most college-bound students are learning in school.” Furthermore, the College Board claims to ensure that tests are fair to all students, regardless of their background or ethnicity.

Why, then, would the College Board ask a question about reality entertainment? A person’s consumption of reality television certainly does not reflect the material one learns in school. Additionally, this question assumed that all teenagers are not only fortunate enough to own a television, but are also familiar enough with reality television to write an essay about it. The reality is that this question blatantly favored television viewers over young people like me who prefer books to junk TV.

Continued at Arma Virumque (New Criterion) | More Chronicle & Notices.

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Kenny Cargill
10 years ago

Presumably the question could be asking you to respond to the broad nineteenth-century artistic movement of Realism (in painting, music, literature, etc.). You don’t have to be reading modern forms of entertainment into the question.

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