The data-collection phase of the SAT Challenge is complete. By any measure, this was the most successful Casual Friday ever. We maxed out the generous 500 responses I allotted for the challenge, the most ever responses to a Casual Friday study — despite the fact that participants were warned the task would take up to 21 minutes.
The survey required participants to enter at least their name before moving on to answer the essay question. The most popular name was “asdf,” but no one claiming the name asdf actually wrote an essay. Clearly plenty of participants only “participated” in order to see the question (you’ll see it soon enough — I’ll give it below the fold). So, of our 500, how many wrote essays? Just 155. Of those, 20 opted out after completing their response. Of those remaining, just 109 finished in under 21 minutes.
So 109 responses will be sent to our volunteer graders. Each essay will be graded twice according to the official SAT guidelines. After grading is complete — hopefully a week from Friday — we’ll present a preliminary analysis and make the responses public. Then everyone will have a chance to rate the essays themselves. If you weren’t among the 500 people who at least looked at the essay question, I’ll present it below.
The essay gives you an opportunity to show how effectively you can develop and express ideas. You should, therefore, take care to develop your point of view, present your ideas logically and clearly, and use language precisely.
* Since this is an online version of the test, you will get 20 minutes instead of the usual 25
* An off-topic essay will receive a score of zero.
Directions: Think carefully about the issue presented in the following excerpt and the assignment below.
‘I have learned that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed.’
— Booker T. Washington
Assignment: What is your opinion on the idea that struggle is a more important measure of success than accomplishment? Plan and write an essay in which you develop your point of view on this issue. Support your position with reasoning and examples taken from your reading, studies, experience, or observations.
What do you think of the question? If you took the test, do you want to say anything about the process of responding? Now’s your chance — but if you saved your response, please don’t reveal it now; we don’t want to bias the graders.