Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Five-Minute Course in Finding Contentment

I was curious which of my 1,250 blog posts has been read most often. Three stood out:

How I Could Live Decently on $20,000 a Year

Top 10 Ways to Gain Willpower

The Peter Pan Syndrome: Why Smart People Fail

So today, I went back and tuned each of those up. 

It would take you just five minutes total to read all three and it just might be of real value to you.


Rex said...

Marty, this is not relevant to the topic of this blog post (feel free to move it if you don't like it), but one topic I haven't seen specifically covered on your blog is your stance on the SAT...Since you have a degree in the evaluation of innovation, what do you think about the recent NYTimes articles on the SAT? What's your opinion on the usefulness/necessity of the SAT and other standardized tests?

Marty Nemko said...

I read only the student post, it's offbase. The SAT is a color-blind (indeed, OVERpredicting college performance for Blacks) measure of reasoning ability, and is far less coachable than the testing companies assert. Of course, the SAT isn't everything but it's a uniform yardstick that explains 35% of the variance in college freshman performance.

Get rid of it and you have eliminated a crucial component of success in college; intelligence (reasoning ability). Grade-point average measures other things of value but it's wrong to eliminate a purer measure of reasoning because that becomes ever more important in college. Extracurriculars matter yes, but essays are too cheatable (written by others).

Rex said...

Interesting...did you read this?

There are some who believe that subject tests and AP exams are sufficient and that the SAT is just a "wealth test."

Marty Nemko said...

I hadn't read that. There's no need to overtest---the tests are quite intercorrelated. The problem is that the achievement tests (subject tests and AP exams) would miss the brilliant underachiever.

Anonymous said...

Maybe the achievement tests would miss underachievers, but is that a bad thing from an admissions perspective? I always thought colleges preferred strivers to slackers.

Marty Nemko said...

No question that strivers accomplish a lot---in the middle.

But sometimes, the greatest potential contributors find high school irrelevant and would prefer to devote their efforts elsewhere. An SAT tied to course content would lose these true buried treasures. And after all, isn't that supposed to be the purpose of the test? The strivers can easily be identified by their class grades.