spacer image
spacer image

Welcome! You're looking at an archived Snarkmarket entry. We've got a fresh look—and more new ideas every day—on the front page.

March 13, 2005

<< Netflixster | The Canterbury Tizzales >>

American Analog Set

Posted March 13, 2005 at 4:47 | Comments (5) | Permasnark
File under: Braiiins, Briefly Noted


I always thought that the SAT analogy section tested vocabulary, not analogical reasoning per se. That's why you can game the system, by memorizing lists of SAT words, typical analogies, etc. You can game essays, especially through empty formalism, too -- crash AP courses and prep for writing proficiency tests are already on top of this.

Now if the SAT enlarged their reading section and really tested students' ability to spot precisely when someone was trying to fool them, whether through bad analogies or other faults of logic or rhetorical sleight-of-hand -- that would be something.

I don't buy a word of Cohen's argument. Effectively it is: "Look, I read Miller's analogies when I was a kid and now I'm a moral and political animal. But the kids of the future will just be trashy simpletons who write with no substance, but wonderful style."

Couldn't the world use a bit of wonderful style? What's so wrong with that?

And I agree with Tim: I've always heard the analogies pitched as a test for vocabulary.

Posted by: Dan on March 14, 2005 at 05:14 PM

Put me down in the vocab camp also. If we want to chart the ability to describe logical relationships, analogies are definitely not the best course of action. I always hated SAT analogies. Most were pretty straightforward, but some were ridiculously subjective.

Posted by: Matt on March 14, 2005 at 05:59 PM

it's so stupid to think it!!!!!

Posted by: tacroute on November 9, 2005 at 05:53 AM

The Miller Analogy Test seems to be one of the most ridiculous tests I have ever seen. The analogies are, in many cases absurd, and so subjective, that the test is an insult to anyone who is required to take it.

Posted by: bob janzen on July 6, 2006 at 01:37 PM
spacer image
spacer image