As my SAT scores continue to plateau, despite months of study and determination (and a lot of fun), I’ve stomped my feet and declared on more than one occasion: “Who are all these kids rocking the SAT and what are their parents feeding them?”

From May 5, 2011 Business Week:

Twenty thousand students took SAT prep in China with ‘New Oriental’ last year, representing at least a 90 percent share of that market……

“New Oriental seems to have cracked the SAT code,” says Phillip Muth, associate dean for admissions at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Its 1,200 applicants from China this year had an average of 610 out of 800 on the SAT’s reading section and 670 in writing, as opposed to 641 in reading and 650 in writing for U.S. applicants.  In math, they achieved an average of 783, compared with 669 for U.S. students. ”

It is not lost on me either that English is a second language.


Illustrations by Jennifer Orkin Lewis