Patt Morrison

<em>Patt Morrison</em> is known for its innovative discussions of local politics and culture, as well as its presentation of the effects of national and world news on Southern California. Hosted by

Are you smarter than a 12th grader?

by Patt Morrison

SAT prep books line the shelves of Barnes and Noble in New York City. Mario Tama/Getty Images

Or, are you at least as smart as the 12th-grader you once were, when college loomed and the dreaded Standardized Aptitude Test could make or break your prospects?

That’s the question columnist Drew Magary asked himself. Then he did something no adult should ever have to face: taking the practice test, sans preparation, in the time allotted, using a good old No. 2 pencil. Kids, don’t try this at home.

The first instruction? “Set aside 3 hours and 20 minutes of uninterrupted time.” Whoa, who has that? Magary details the horrific experience – hilariously – in his essay, “What Happens When A 35-Year-Old Man Retakes the SAT?” It’s all there – the scratched wooden desk, the bubble sheets, the tense minutes of pressurized clock-watching as the minutes tick by and the smudged pencil marks build up on the page.


If you had to do it again, do you think you could ace the SAT?


Drew Magary, author and editor at

Sample SAT Questions

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