Math 570, Verbal 450

Why do I think those scores wouldn’t get me very far today? At the time I had absolutely no appreciation for what it was about. Thirty-something years later without ever having kids to provide guidance for I still don’t understand all the fuss that is made. Back then college bound kids only had to meet one requirement – having enough money. Anyone who didn’t have plans to attend were simply too poor, lazy or lacked the necessary incentive (i.e. pushy parents). AP courses didn’t exist then and ‘college prep’ studies existed in name but I suspect their content was what you find most normal level 12th grade classes today. In spite of being woefully ill-prepared (realized in hindsight over many years) I managed to make it thru with relative ease, actually enjoyed most of it and even made the Dean’s list a couple of times.

The thought (I hesitate calling it effort or work) which began sometime during my senior year of high school about higher education was minimal and seemed to be more the path of least resistance than a grand plan with options and safety nets. I attended 2 years of nearby Junior College and then during my 2nd year chose a school to get a four year degree. So when I read yet another tale of the extremes kids/parents go to to get into the college of their dreams as early as their pre-teens or the anguish they suffer at having to settle for a ‘back-up’ institution, I shake my head and wonder was I good and didn’t realize it or just lucky?


About Marcus

Who me? Introverted, neurotic, self-absorbed, increasingly cynical observer of human nature and part time social critic in hiding. Most of my life spent avoiding growing up. The naive idealistic passions of youth have evolved into the eclectic eccentricities of adulthood. Northeast Florida small-town native, related to people I can't relate to. Simultaneously my own best friend and worst enemy. Politically and spiritually unaffiliated, my personal ideologies put me all over the map or off it completely.
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2 Responses to Math 570, Verbal 450

  1. n_decisive says:

    How far they would get you would depend on what major you were considering when applying to various schools. Here is some current mean score data:
    2006 College-Bound Seniors’ Average Scores
    * Critical reading: 503
    * Mathematics: 518
    * Writing: 497
    Good schools will take a student who gets around a 570 or above on the first two scores; competitive, prestigious universities want scores over 600.
    One of our daughter’s friends who graduated last year had to take the SATs THREE times and was tutored because his parents weren’t happy with his scores.
    So long as our daughter’s scores were high enough to get her into the schools she wanted to apply to, we weren’t worried. They were.
    Some of it’s just plain crazy!

    • marcsuttle says:

      I found the College Board report on S.A.T. scores all the way back to when I took them in the early-mid ’70s. My overall performance was in the range for most college bound kids at that time. Reading about how kids with perfect or near perfect scores are still turned down (especially from the big well known “prestige’ schools) makes me wonder if it’s worth the effort. I roll my eyes when reading about the volunteer/community service activites parents push their kids into so it looks good on the college application. And don’t get me started about writing any sort of essay for an application. I barely knew how to write a grocery list at the time. Let’s see, what did I do as a teen? Oh yeah! I collected record albums and read sci-fi paperbacks! Yea me! (that wasn’t nearly as snarky sounding as I wanted it to be)

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