The latest college-bound craze? Do-overs on your SATs
. This would be OK if the College Board folks also reported how many times you took the test. Then we could just use the distribution of the maximum score (this is an example of an order statistic
). Look at the difference between the (normal) distribution of a single attempt, and the highly skewed distribution of the best of five attempts:
If the College Board folks don’t furnish the number of attempts, the smart cookies will just assume that it took 3 or 4 or 5 tries, and calculate accordingly.
Of course, if you need a do-over on your SATs to make the cut for college admissions*, you’re already in trouble. Better hire a really good tutor, or a really smart body double (like this fellow did for his Spanish class).
Tip from the Mrs.
* Basic rule: IQ > body temperature
Update (2 March). The Onion suggests reasons for a do-over. Tip from Best of the Web.
Update (3 March). A bunch of pathetic mooks want a do-over:
Tip from the Instapundit.