“As the SAT goes digital, see how you do on these century-old questions about cigarettes and widowers.”
By Nathan Place
The SAT, America’s most widely-used college admissions exam, is always changing. This week, the test’s publisher announced that it will go fully online starting in 2024, among other changes.
The all-digital exam will arrive almost exactly 100 years after the first SAT, which was administered in 1926. Back then, the “Scholastic Aptitude Test” evolved out of an Army IQ test used during World War I, and offered schools a way to measure the college-readiness of both private and public school students. (An earlier College Board test, given in 1901, asked students to translate chunks of Cicero back into Latin.)
The 1926 test was divided into four “sub-tests,” measuring the user’s vocabulary, mathematics skills, reasoning, and other abilities. An alarming number of questions are about cigarettes. So if you’re stressing over the new SAT, or if you’re still traumatized by the pencil-and-paper test of your youth, see how you do on these sample questions from the first SAT ever…
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