THE TEST & THE ART OF THINKING by Carol Kaufman Segal
Because most four-year colleges require it, more than 3 million high school students take the SAT (Standard Aptitude Test) or the ACT (American College Testing) every year. Michael Arden Davis’s very interesting and provocative documentary speculates on the validity of these tests. Davis certainly expresses his feelings through his interviews with various people who are affected by them.
In the documentary, he speaks to a large number of students as well as parents, teachers, professors, other academics, and those who are in the field of tutoring students for the precise job of being prepared to pass the tests. It seems these tests do not prove a person’s knowledge of what he or she learned in school to be prepared to go further into higher education. “It’s not a math test. It’s not a reading test. It’s get the right answers test.” Even though one person expressed it in those words, it was what everyone interviewed seemed to sum up in one way or another. It seems that the tests really have nothing to do with knowledge.
These tests may have had a profound effect on many people over the years, and can continue to affect the futures of today’s and tomorrow’s students. After viewing this important and interesting documentary, I have a very strong hope that the schools will seek a more credible way for students to earn entrance into their doors without wasting time, energy, and money (and most likely, nerves) on tests that have little or no credibility.
The Test & The Art of Thinking is playing at The Laemmle Music Hall in Beverly Hills. Running time is 85 minutes.