d-m-c at d-m-c at
Fri Feb 12 11:23:50 PST 1999

My Fave Demon Paul writes:

>My question -- which I really and truly would like to have answered --
>is why there's such a gap between the perceptions registered on this
>list, and the following accumulation of objective data regarding
>students going on to graduate school, based on 4 major tests.

Paul, first we're talking about undergraduates. The scores you recite are for those going on to grad/professional school. I think only 5% of the population goes on to grad school of any sort. Only 1% get doctoral degrees. Can't recall exact #s. I'll look it up.

Big difference between writing an essay exam, taking notes in class, paying attention and absorbing info and the skills required for rote memorization and for psyching out standardized tests like GRE's. All one really has to do to get decent GRE etc scores is have the basic skills and do one of two things: study old exams them over and over or enroll in one of those boost your GRE score classes. Same logic applies re SATs.

In general, I'm not clear that scores on GREs reflect a whole lot in terms of the sorts of problems we're encountering. Don't know if you read my post re "systematically produced normative incompetence" Students often *can* do it if they're motivated. When they're not, they dig in and resist in whatever way they can. Or, they're just plain exhausted from trying to juggle it all. Sometimes I have no sympathy for those kids even, cause I did it all but then I don't want to start sounding like.....well you know.


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