March 6, 2014, - 3:15 pm

Dumbing Down of SATs Reflects Dumbing Down of US; “Prevaricate” No Longer “Relevant”

By Debbie Schlussel

They need to change the name of the SATs to SDTs (which is pretty close to the thing students get most out of college: STDs). It’s no longer the Scholastic Aptitude Test. It’s the Scholastic Dummies Test.


The SATs are being dumbed down again, pursuant to whiners whose kids just aren’t that smart and don’t do well on the tests. So what do the SAT police do? They dumb it down and make it easier for dummies to succeed, defeating the whole point of the SATs, which is to test intelligence–the ability to do math problems, to assess the meanings of words, and the ability to reason and write essays. A lot of that will be watered down, if not entirely eliminated, under pressure from minorities (who’ve forever claimed that the intelligence test is skewed against them–are they saying they lack intelligence?) and leftist champions of dummies.

I did very well on the SATs and the PSATs and was a National Merit Scholar Finalist, as a result. I didn’t study forever and “prepare” for the test, other than taking a couple of free practice tests, so I don’t buy the baloney spouted by lefties that minorities and the poor can’t afford expensive preparation courses as an excuse for why they do not do well on the exams. While IQs can go up and down a few points over time, one thing is consistent: either you have the intelligence or you don’t. (Also, when I took the test, we were not allowed to use calculators. The calculator you used was your brain. Remember those? Now test-takers can use calculators for the entire math section, though the changes will allow it for only part of the test.)

But since leftist activists don’t want equal standards and benchmarks in academic excellence and intelligence for everybody, the SATs will now eliminate what it calls “obscure vocabulary,” mandatory essays (they will be optional), a “wide range” of math concepts, and penalties/deductions for incorrect answers. It’s ironic–or maybe not so much–that among what the College Board considers to be “obscure” or “not relevant” are the words “prevaricator” and “sagacious.” Hmmm . . . could it be because many of those now applying for worthless college have equally worthless values, in which prevaricating for any reason is just fine and dandy (cheating is rampant at college these days)? And because sagacity has nothing to do with today’s college applicants? You meet few, if any, you could call “sagacious.” If not, it’s a nice coincidence.

America’s Genius College Students (Who Took the SATs b/f the Latest Dumbing Down Happens) . . .

The other day, a woman told me that kids today are “much smarter” than we were. I told her, I’m not so sure about that at all. I said, “I’m sure they’re much smarter about what the Kardashians are doing,” but the important stuff, history, math, etc.? I don’t think so. They are dumber than ever. The College Board admits that barely 43% of those entering college today are unprepared and don’t belong there. Ya think this dumbing down of the test will make the number rosier? Only if you’re a moron . . . or scored well on the new dumbed down SATs.

I suppose it’s apropos that as colleges and universities become ever more dumbed down and more and more useless, you can say the same for the SAT. I heard an SAT preparation expert say on the radio, yesterday, that she compares this to a woman who is a size 14 suddenly being a size two in clothing without having lost any weight or size. Exactly. That is what the SATs governing body, the College Board is doing: telling you a fat chick is now a hot, skinny one. And that a dummy is now a genius. The people doing this are the same kind who always want equality of results, not just equality of opportunity. And that’s not how real life works . . . or is supposed to work.

We are a nation of dummies for the most part, and so I guess it’s okay that we dumb down the SATs to reflect that. After all, why be better? Why have standards? Why have borders? Why speak English? Just let anyone in–to the country, to colleges–and give up. That seems to be the attitude.

College Board officials said Wednesday the update — the first since 2005 — is needed to make the exam more representative of what students study in high school and the skills they need to succeed in college and afterward. The test should offer “worthy challenges, not artificial obstacles,” said College Board President David Coleman at an event in Austin, Texas. . . .

One of the biggest changes in the SAT is that the extra penalty for wrong answers, which discouraged guessing, will be eliminated. And some vocabulary words will be replaced with words such as “synthesis” and “empirical” that are used more widely in classrooms and in work settings. . . . Instead of testing a wide range of math concepts, the new exam will focus on a few areas, like algebra, deemed most needed for college and life afterward. A calculator will be allowed only on certain math questions, instead of on the entire math portion.

Tania Perez, 17, a senior at Capital City Public Charter School in Washington, said she would like to have taken the test on a computer — and with the vocabulary changes. “Some of the SAT words that we’ve seen, well personally, I’ve seen, taking the SAT … I’ve never heard of them and stuff,” Perez said. “That would have been better for me. I think my score would have been a lot higher.”

Um, never having heard of them “and stuff” is why the words are on the test. They want–or, rather, used to want–to know if you are able to pull apart words you haven’t seen before and figure out their meanings from their roots and syllables. But, now, apparently, words like sagacious and prevaricator are strange new words to America’s next generation of minds of mush. Ms. Perez is a stellar advertisement for charter schools, isn’t she?

Say good-bye, America. We are Mediocrity Nation extraordinaire.

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40 Responses

Isn’t this to make the Non-Asian Minorities feel better about their overall poorer academic abilities? Not to mention the whites that are slowly sliding down the sandpit to join them.

Meanwhile, we can have NAMs and foreigners dominate our STEM industries and jobs.

PitandPen on March 6, 2014 at 3:25 pm

    My son in law, while studying for his Master’s Degree, would spend his weekends in the library of a prestigious university. He would tell me that he was the only Caucasian there. All the others were either Asian or Indian. QED.

    Victoryman on March 7, 2014 at 8:16 am

Uhhhhhh, roots and syllables? I know trees have roots and syllables are those big metal dish things that the kid in the back at band practice claps together whenever the teacher points at him.

Alfredo from Puerto Rico on March 6, 2014 at 3:27 pm

Simply put, we do not deserve to be a country.

I remember a situation a few years back, wherein white parents started to pull their children from the local high school because the school’s ethnic makeup was changing. Was it because the school was getting dangerous as a result of latino gangs? Black gangs? NO. The school was getting more and more Asian students and they were adversely affecting the curve. White parents complained that while their students were playing basketball, baseball, cheerleading, and going to dances and social functions, the Asian students were “studying and throwing off the curve.”

Somehow, the parents felt that students studying hard was unfair.

When I took chemistry, biology, and physics classes, many, many
students were Jewish, and the class was virtually all white. Now, in some science classes, the entire class is Asian, or is Asian and Indian/Pakistani/Arab. (Arabs are not dumb in the nonpolitical arena…many are smart enough to study, which is more than I can say for most American college students).

Some of these people will go back to China and thus we will have educated our enemies’ children. Ditto the Muslims. What will not be happening is the average white/American students becoming scientists, getting good jobs, becoming doctors, etc.

And America will wither away without scientific research and achievement.

Jonathan E. Grant on March 6, 2014 at 3:48 pm

I just saw the video you posted. This is so scary!

Jonathan E. Grant on March 6, 2014 at 3:56 pm

We criticize the Russians for being stupid.

As Debbie wrote, we should put our own house in order before we run around accusing others of lacking in intelligence.

The world is laughing at us for making “Dumb and Dumberer” the new standard of American mediocrity.

If the Space Race happened all over again, we’d be beaten to the Moon.

America is living off its inheritance – and even the SAT is now a nostalgic reminder of what we once were and no longer aspire to be.

NormanF on March 6, 2014 at 4:00 pm

    I happened to hav seen one of the questions on the “New” SAT. It was written so “All” could understand it – and I quote: “Rite a few werds talkin’ ’bout yewr skule. Wee want two no howe gud yer teechurs were. Did yew get edjykated gud?”

    Not only do the SAT’s – and other tests – continue to be dumbed down, but also the so-called “Tests” that so-called “Educators” take. Speaking of educators, I read where all the teachers of an (Unnamed) school system were going on strike to protest having to work an additional fifteen minutes a day. The strike had to be called off. The teachers could not master the fine art of stapling a placard to a stick and even after an hour of practice, marching in a circle proved to be impossible.

    Victoryman on March 7, 2014 at 8:27 am

SATs have become a sham, but it doesnt really matter since the coveted seats at our upper echelon universities are given to Indian/Iranian/Arab or Pakistani so they can master the core sciences and hack into our defense computers or build a better nuke or missile system to help destroy us. Yeah, lets educate the enemy, great plan, meanwhile we can take comfort that our own home grown kids are adept at the gazintas,” umm, 2 gazinta 4 twice, 3 gazinta 9, ummm, four?” yeah, close enough,

HK on March 6, 2014 at 4:02 pm

Well, I guess the next step if they want to make the test relevant to words used in college, is to include terms referring to sexual orientation or sexual practices. With all the Sex Weeks going on, and the orientation of so many courses to things having to do with sex, this would be a logical step.

The dumbing down of literature is especially offensive. In most English departments 50 years ago, majors had to take several pre-1780 courses, which meant, primarily, Shakespeare, Chaucer and Milton. Now, maybe two courses pre-1830. This can include these three giants, but can also include Gothic Literature, which, although worthy of study, cannot compare to Chaucer, Shakespeare or Milton.

In short story courses, there has been increasing emphasis on the short stories of the last 50 years, (with disproportionate emphasis on victimization stories)at the expense of the outstanding literature of the late 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries (and even earlier short stories if giants such as Chaucer, Mallory, Defoe, Addison and Goldsmith are considered.)

At least one course in victim literature is obligatory now almost everywhere, and with the range of electives, students can get away with virtually no exposure to the literary giants of past centuries.

Scores will, of course go up, not only because of the dumbing down of the test, but the lack of penalties for wrong answers, coupled with more right answers due to guessing, will give lots of nitwits scores above 1400. And the morons will probably still complain about something or other.

Little Al on March 6, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Chaucer? Milton? Shakespeare? May I add two of my favorite? Joseph Conrad and Thomas Hardy? Sadly, today the great posts of the past have been replaced with the drivel of a Maya Angelou. Now, college students can major in Queer Studies with a minor in Soap Operas. Our high schools in my area “Prepare” students or college – and for life itself by… students an extra few weeks to “Finish homework,” and so-called tests have become irrelevant. Students may repeat a test three times. If failure continues, then they can take the test with an open book. So much for today’s “Edjykayshun.” Just keep the money wheel spinning of union dues recycled to the democrat party. Follow the $$.

    Victoryman on March 7, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Actually, they might not go up. The easier the tests become the lazier the test takers will become.

    Pray Hard on March 7, 2014 at 11:02 am

All this is also by design, as an uber-ignorant populace is more likely to be easily swayed by Democrat demagoguery on issue after issue. Besides our “educational” system shifting more and more to the left since the 1960’s, the “dumbing down” as exemplified here is Reason #2,622,518 why giving the vote to 18-year-olds via the 26th Amendment has turned out to be such a mistake. (Yet another is, which political party has benefitted the most from the “yoof” vote? Hint: It wasn’t that whose first letter was “R.”)

ConcernedPatriot on March 6, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I had nothing against 18 year old young people getting the right to vote in the State of Georgia, LONG before the entire USA endorsed the idea.

    My cousin cast his last and only vote back in 1964 as a 19 year old. Then, in 1966he was sent to Viet Nam as a Marine and never returned alive.

    As to causing students to dumb down and drop out, back then…No, that was not the issue. Getting a job maybe and helping the family was more of a reason back then…that and GETTING HITCHED !!

    It is just ME AGAIN on March 6, 2014 at 9:29 pm

Sadly, the writing was glaringly on the wall. Parents could not stand to see their precious progeny learn what failure is all about. The coddling should continue long after age 26 when the parents no longer have to carry the “children” on their health insurance. This is just another symptom of Obama-itis – the dumbing down of society for the purpose of relying upon the state in perpetuity.
Good column, Debbie.

Sanford D. Horn on March 6, 2014 at 4:12 pm

    You are so right! I know a woman who teaches SAT prep classes (which are super-expensive, by the way) and she said pretty much ALL of her students are Asian – Japanese, Chinese, Korean – and their parents are determined that they will get perfect scores on their exams. In all of the years she’s been doing this, she’s never had a black kid in class. That may be because they can’t afford it, but it may also be because of the preference they get in college admissions.

    MIGirl on March 8, 2014 at 11:52 am

These kids did surprise me by being much smarter than they need to be to watch Vampire Diaries but still great news for Islam which needs an endless supply of ignoramuses to feed on.

Frankz on March 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm

SATS are useless. I barely passed Algebra 1 and Plane Geometry. Forget Alg. 2, Chem was a nightmare but lab boosted my grade, The math difficulty was due to dyslogia that no one cared to address since I was a “pretty girl and would be getting married anyway.” However, despite this, I scored in the high 600’s on math and although I underachieved in other classes except French and Art but I still pulled in the 700’s on Verbal. This was back in 1963-64 before the dumbing down. I didn’t into any top tier colleges and that’s fine because I couldn’t get better than a “D” in my math classes, and that was with tutoring. But aside from math, I HATED academia. I was so not suited to it until I was in my 50’s and went back but there was the old Math bugaboo. Just could not do it well enough to get the credits. I don’t know why I scored so high on standardized tests. I guess because they don’t use too many word problems which are my downfall. I can’t combine verbal and numerical languages. I’m not good on symbols. It’s a miracle I learned the Hebrew alef bet. And I have no ability to memorize by rote. The ability is there. I even did better on the logic part of the LSAT than the verbal so the skill is in there but it’s locked in a mostly inaccessible place.

Meira on March 6, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Sorry about the typos. Having an eye problem tonight.

    Meira on March 6, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      your thought processes are just fine.

      HK on March 6, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Kids are pretty much just the same in countries like the UK these days which followed round about the same trajectory. You’d think people would avoid a failed model but you’d be be wrong.
Nope, like teenagers at school nothing stops the latest craze.

How come nobody in government admires countries like China when it comes to things like education? Not that it’s necessarily a wonderful example in all respects but still you’d think it would get a least some praise in some areas considering how some politicians seem to admire their centralized authority.

China isn’t following a downward trajectory into dumbassity. Why is that?

Frankz on March 6, 2014 at 5:26 pm

“under pressure from minorities (who’ve forever claimed that the intelligence test is skewed against them–are they saying they lack intelligence?”

Not me, its the so-called self appointed leaders of communities that keep this sht up. It only reinforces the bigoted belief as Debbie alluded to “are they saying they lack intelligence” which disgusts me.

They continue to make society dumber and weaker, its saddening. The people who are in control over the SATs are showing that they are not sagacious when making decisions and are nothing but prevaricators when they attempt to argue the justification this crap decision.

Big D on March 6, 2014 at 5:31 pm

Follow the money trail! More students more guv-mint money coming into the school coffers!

6colthogleg on March 6, 2014 at 7:06 pm

Great video,

Just think, in several years they will be voting in elections. I guess if you keep people ignorant you can more easily control them through lies and disinformation. The Nazi’s and Communists proved it though carefully constructed propaganda.

BTW, Here is another country that starts with the letter U.
UTAH! Beat that! Hah!

Because of the video, I will now indulge in a libation or two in order to forget where this country is headed.


Peter on March 6, 2014 at 7:28 pm

We need the words “sagacious” and “prevaricator” more than ever, such as for the following statement: “Obama appears to be sagacious but he is just a prevaricator with a teleprompter who communicates well with those who score very low on the SAT’s.”

Concerned Citizen on March 6, 2014 at 8:23 pm

The video should have also included the following:

Austin (of the video–henceforth referred to as A:) President Obama, can you tell us how many states are in the United States?

Obama: Um, what?

A: Okay, let me rephrase. Back toward the end of your 2008 Presidential Primary run, how many states have you travelled to?


A: So in other words, you think that we have sixty states here in the United States?

Obama: Um, yes.

A: Thank you for your time.

Exit question: Was the fact that Obama didn’t know how many states were in the United States one of the reasons why people like the ones in the video had voted for him in 2008 and 2012? My answer is yes.

JeffE on March 6, 2014 at 8:49 pm

I recall that Obama said there were 57 states. I guess he meant 57 Muslim Countries.

Little Al on March 6, 2014 at 8:55 pm

Time to start listening to the “Tiger Mom?”

Victoryman on March 7, 2014 at 8:18 am

Most kids have zero critical thinking skills. We’re toast.

DJH on March 7, 2014 at 11:06 am

Hopefully you know that the State of Michigan legislature passed a law that forbids the use of the word “retarded” in the educational system.


There is NO Santa Claus (aka TINSC)

There is NO Santa Claus on March 7, 2014 at 12:40 pm

I scored well as I recall, but the whole sham is meaningless. A test measures your ability to take a test. Today I am retired and simply don’t care. Country is toast

Rod Gozinya on March 7, 2014 at 1:31 pm

Although this has partial roots in the 1960’s/1970’s baloney, the corporatization (Is that a word?) of the colleges and universities is really the big problem. I have a friend who’s head of a department in a Texas university. He’s says the only thing that matters is the numbers and getting the students in, getting their money and shoving them out the door in four years, regardless of whether they actually learn anything or not. So, the bachelor’s programs sound basically like high school now.

I knew two teenagers from junior high through high school. I never saw them crack a book. Their mother was a typical SWF liberal victim and contributed highly to their complete lack of studiousness.

When I was a little kid, my dad told me that my education was my responsibility, period, no matter how bad the teacher was, how bad the class was, how many misbehaved moronic distractions there were in class, how much I hated it, how tired or sick I was or anything else. And, he enforced such. I wonder how many kids today ever hear anything similar?

Pray Hard on March 7, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Pray Hard….you are right, again

    HK on March 7, 2014 at 5:09 pm

“the new exam will focus on a few areas, like algebra, deemed most needed for college and life afterward.”

I have done rather well for almost 7 decades without having the slightest idea of how to solve a mathematical problem by using algebra. I do it either in my head or on a piece of paper using arithmetic I learned in a four-room school in the 1950s. I even got thru college that way. We’re sunk as a country, I fear.

john nicholson on March 7, 2014 at 1:54 pm

Let us not forget that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld affirmative action laws that have recently come before it. And with those decisions, i.e. University of Texas and University of Michigan, “minority” students retained the right to get points or benefit from, on their college applications, for merely signing their names on the application. For if there is a will, to prop up the undeserved, the politically correct crowd will always find a way. Unfortunately, the biggest abuser we have in that category is now the U.S. Attorney General who serves at the behest of the biggest racial divider in America: one Barack Hussein Obama.

Diane G on March 7, 2014 at 5:53 pm

My laughter (of which I am not proud) at ignorance because of pop culture is greatly surpassed by anger at the education system paid by us to develop the mental capabilities of our children yet failing so badly. Wait and you will hear that the problem will be solved with greater pay for our teachers.

marblenecltr on March 7, 2014 at 11:00 pm

I know I will sound old, but when I was in high school and took the SAT and ACT tests, preparation consisted of sharpening two #2 pencils and showing up on time on Saturday morning. I scored almost perfect scores on both exams, and was in the 99th percentile on both. I was recruited by colleges and universities all over the country, and was a National Merit Scholarship finalist, like Debbie. I chose to stay in Michigan for school.

Having spent a 35 year career in business – primarily in HR, I can tell you the children are NOT getting smarter, but the teachers sure are getting lazier. Our college graduate candidates cannot write grammatically correct sentences, nor can they spell. I asked several school teachers about this and they said they no longer teach spelling because it’s a waste of time and kids will have spellcheck on their computers. They also don’t spend a lot of time on grammar, because they said kids today hate learning grammar so it doesn’t hold their attention. I wonder what in the heck they ARE doing in school!

Recently I helped my 8-year-old nephew with his arithmetic homework. He said he was finished, so I checked his work, which was subtracting three-digit numbers that would require an understanding of “borrowing” from the tens column or the hundreds to complete the problem. He had every single answer wrong, and this is a kid who is getting straight A’s. I went over the problems with him, requiring him to work them out, which he could do, but he argued with me that the teacher only requires them to ESTIMATE the answer, not work the problem to the correct answer. Even his estimates were way off. I sat with him until he got every answer correct. The next day he came home from school and he handed me his homework paper with a note from the teacher saying that he shouldn’t have WORKED the problems, he should have “estimated” the answers.

No surprise to me that they have to dumb down the college entrance exams so kids canget higher scores. They then dumb down the classes so the kids can pass. Then they get out in the real world and the corporate training department has to offer basic writing skills and remedial math classes so these COLLEGE GRADUATES can do their jobs.

By the way, I do not hire ANYONE who majored in garbage like Womyn’s Studies, Gender Studies, African American Studies – really anything with Studies in the title – because it has been our experience that these people not only aren’t prepared for the real world, but they will also be busy looking for a reason to sue the company for discrimination, since they wasted their college years learning all about all the reasons they are victims of the big bad white opressor.

MIGirl on March 8, 2014 at 11:44 am

MIGirl you are so right.
The sad truth is that if you threw out Affirmative Action and the dumbing down of Universities, 60% of the “students” today would not have qualified to get into the school.
I’m Debbie’s age (40s) and in the 80s you needed at least a 3.0 gpa (with all college prep classes not basket weaving) in High School and an 1100 on the SAT just to get into a State school. Lower and it was Jr college for you until you could pull your grades up. If you wanted to go Ivy League, you better have had close to a 4.0 gpa and above a 1500 on your SAT. Now any moron is admitted to school and most have to take remedial courses for a year or two and then take college courses. Most of these folks quit or flunk out.
Many of those who DO graduate have degrees in “I’m owed a living” and “I’m a victim” and “I know how to sue” and are unable to write a basic essay with a heading, body, conclusion and are totally unprepared for work.
They are shocked…shocked I say when they find out that they have to be at work every morning at 8am, can’t call in sick, actually have to like work and stuff, have to learn their job without anyone spoon feeding them, and if they screw up they get yelled at and fired.
It’s terrible and unless the Millenials get their s**** together, they’ll be living at home with their parents forever working at Starbucks.

jimmyPx on March 10, 2014 at 8:08 pm

Wonderful blog! Do you have any hints for aspiring writers? I’m planning to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you suggest starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally overwhelmed .. Any ideas? Kudos!

XVIXVKMSQAFMHMIXE on September 6, 2018 at 8:24 am

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