Do you believe in the SAT?

It’s SAT season again, and teenagers across the country are dreaming of #2 pencils, raw Imagescores, percentiles, and thousands of little grey circles with letters in them.  Amidst this confusion, many people forget one very obvious fact: the SAT is boring.  In fact, If you were to strip away everything exciting and fun from this world, what you would probably be left with is standardized testing.

While some people, such as crazy SAT tutors like myself, find the ins and outs of such tests oddly fascinating, most need inspiration to succeed on these exams.  I find that, before you can address these issues of motivation, you have to diagnose them.  What is it that makes the SAT so uninspiring?  My colleague Anna Menditto at George Mason University and I developed this scale to uncover hidden beliefs about the SAT that influence a student’s approach to – and ultimately success with – the test.

Pilot Study, SAT Beliefs Scale

Circle the number that best describes your beliefs about the SAT.

If you strongly disagree, circle number 1.  If you strongly agree, circle number 5.

1. The SAT has an impact on my future.

1          2          3          4          5

2. Studying for the SAT will make me a better student.

1          2          3          4          5

3. The skills I use on the SAT are of value.

1          2          3          4          5

4. The SAT is relevant to my academic life.

1          2          3          4          5

5. The SAT is worthwhile.

1          2          3          4          5

6. I am good at the SAT.

1          2          3          4          5

7. Students who get good grades do well on the SAT. 

1          2          3          4          5

8. The better you do on the SAT, the better you will do in college. 

1          2          3          4          5

9. Studying for the SAT will improve my everyday life.

1          2          3          4          5

10. I will score well in relation to my peers.

1          2          3          4          5

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