Karl Hagen's blog

30 May 2018
In my last post, I argued that the SAT essay might be inappropriately difficult for its intended purposes and that floor effects make it essentially worthless for distinguishing among lower-ability students. In this post, I'm going to argue that the SAT essay score appears similarly unhelpful for distinguishing among high-ability students.
4 Apr 2017
This is part two of a multipart series on the quality of commercial test-preparation material.

In part one, I made the rather unoriginal claim that most commercial test-prep material sucks, and suggested that one major reason it's so bad is that doing good work is hard and that there is insufficient financial incentive for publishers to put resources into doing it right.

30 Mar 2017
Yesterday, I picked up a recent edition of the Kaplan SAT Subject Test Literature guide (the 2015-2016 edition, which I gather is actually identical to the more recent edition) and went through the diagnostic test in it. Unfortunately, this mock test had so many flaws and outright errors, was so unrepresentative of the actual Literature Test, that it's hard to see how it could diagnose much of anything. Just how terrible was it? Here's just one example:


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