Smithsonian Magazine has a look at the very first SAT test, which was administered in 1926. At first glance, it doesn’t seem as difficult as the test is today, however there was a huge time difference which made the original test much more difficult to finish. Today, test-takers are allotted 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete 170 questions; in 1926, they were given 97 minutes for 315 questions. (For a detailed, historical analysis, check out the Smithsonian’s notes.)
Shall we take a look and see how you’d do?
2. The easy part: your name. You know this one.
3. This exam starts off with a vocab section. Ready? Match the correct word with the definitions on the left. The trickier part here might have actually been sorting through the answers. The format’s a bit confusing.
You’ve got this.
4. Math: These Algebra questions don’t seem too tough. Take a look at questions 1, 3, and 9 — those are pretty jarring.
Stay calm. Concentrate. It’s only the rest of your life.
5. Vocab again. In each word group, select the three words most closely related. Cool. But what the hell is Djer Kiss? Bon Ton? Tintex?
Now I’m getting nervous. I’ll never get into Princeton.
6. OK, now this is messed up. In this vocab portion, the SAT basically makes up a language (and it’s not even a cool made-up language like Dothraki). In this SAT-ese, “thanto” means “thank you.” So, thanto, SAT folks for including this nonsense.
OMG I can’t do it I hate you, SAT. Not even Yale will want me. You ruined my life forever.