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Presidential election could set precedent for SAT scores

December 19, 2000

Presidential election could set precedent for SAT scores



I recently took the SAT for the third time and have decided I will ultimately score a 1600. What is my logic? I figure with all of the examples set by Vice President Al Gore, I should be able to argue my way out of anything.

What is going to keep me from arguing that the directions were too confusing or that when I tried to erase, my eraser didn't do a good enough job and the machine miscounted it?

I have seen people from both sides of the election make ridiculous arguments about anything and everything that could go wrong. People testified about everything, including that the machines were too old to do an effective job. There was a statistician arguing that candidates on the left side of the ballot get fewer votes than those on the right.

If it doesn't work for me to say that the machines used to score the SAT are too old to be effective, I could always say that I meant to fill in letter "C," not letter "A." Would they not have to go with the test-taker's intent?

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I may start a phenomenon. Soon everyone will argue their SAT score, and a new system will have to be put in place to grade the test. High school seniors everywhere will rejoice!

I doubt that arguing my score will go very far in a court of law. In fact, I find it ridiculous that the presidential vote went as far as it did. Without interviewing each voter, who can say what his intent was?

If we went to a national ballot, many of the old machines would need to be thrown away. However, if there were a uniform ballot, and consequently a uniform method of determining the intent of the voter, there would be fewer possibilities of this happening again.

A national ballot, like a national test, is the fairest way to pick our leaders.

The intent of the voters, like that of the testers, should not be left for others to second-guess.

Everyone should quit trying to put words in other people's mouths.

I can see Gore's motive in all his arguing; I for one would like to argue my way to a winning score, too.

Emily LaRue is a senior at Smithsburg High School.

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