Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Hilarious Alternative to Boring SAT Test Prep

When I first opened The BSAT Official Study Guide: 350 Questions You'll Never See on the SAT! by John Forster and Marc Segan, I expected a chuckle, or perhaps a polite half-laugh.  When I started laughing out loud, I had to put it down for a bit so as not to scare the people around me.  This book is really funny, and although you can't give it to a college-bound student who lacks a sense of humor (or has parents with that particular affliction), it would make a great gift for most others.

This parody of SAT prep books is actually really similar to the structure of the test and legitimate prep books, although the content is obviously quite different.  As with all good parodies, it's the degree of faithfulness to the original that makes it truly effective.  It would certainly help a stressed out junior or senior relax before taking (or retaking) the test, which will help them do better and not psyche themselves out.

Teachers could also use parts of this book to review test-taking strategies (carefully picking the questions to use), to reduce stress heading into a real test, and as a source of funny questions to tack onto assignments and tests of their own.  It would also be helpful if you're interested in reliving and/or understanding what their high school students are going through, especially if it's been a while since you were in their shoes.

There's math, reading passages, analogies, essays and all of the typical types of sections you would see on the real test.  Here are some sample questions:
Mathematics: Ashley is twice as popular as Brittany, but half as popular as Desiree.  Camille is three times as popular as Desiree, but actually would love to have long straight hair.  How much more popular is Camille than Brittany?

A) 6 times as popular
B) 12 times as popular
C) Camille would actually love to have long straight hair.
D) 3 times as popular
E) Is this math?  That is so not popular!

Sentence Completions: The freshman realized it was time to do his laundry when -------.

A) he opened the laundry bag and the carbon-monoxide detector went off
B) his jeans jumped up from the floor and wrapped themselves around his neck
C) his roommate moved into a hotel
D) Campus Security cordoned off his room as a biohazard
E) he heard the wailing and grinding of zipper teeth from the floor of his closet

Essay: Why aren't white people cool?  Would it help if they could jump?
These are admittedly some of the tamer entries, and I must again stress that someone who is easily offended will flip out over the content of this book.  For everyone else, it's a great way to help calm someone gearing up for the SAT.

Get The BSAT Official Study Guide: 350 Questions You'll Never See on the SAT! at Amazon.  Read more about the book and the authors at BSAT World.

Also, I'm giving away a copy of the book.  All I ask is that you share your most hilarious and/or horrifying test taking experience, SAT or otherwise, in the comments below by midnight CST this Saturday, 3/6.  Good luck!