The Chinese Emperor during the Civil Service Examination (Song Dynasty)‘SAT Tips’: A Poem for Students by Evan Mantyk The Society September 30, 2021 Culture, For Educators, Poetry 16 Comments . SAT Tips Leave nothing blank, your chances are __As good as one in four; So when the end is not too far __Fill in! to raise your score. Jot notes down on the booklet page __or circle a key word. This helps your thinking to engage, __ignore that sneeze you heard. Each question’s worth the same amount, __No question is worth double: Don’t drain your stopwatch bank account __Because you meet some trouble. If question nine is really tough __When doing passage one, Be sure to move on, say “Enough!” __And come back when you’re done; For otherwise you’re sure to miss __The easy questions later; Don’t let your thoughts go all amiss, __Or you’ll be your own hater. And in the Reading Section know __That early questions tend To go with early lines and so __Don’t look around the end. The opposite is also true; __But questions on the whole Are also there: a chance for you __To find the reading’s soul. The evidence is everything: __That’s how your mind should think. Your daydreams could be anything, __But they want what’s in ink. And most of all remember that __“Fortune favors the bold”; Take off your sullen, self-doubt hat, __Put on your helmet of gold! . . Evan Mantyk teaches literature and history in New York and is President of the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO READERS: If you enjoyed this poem or other content, please consider making a donation to the Society of Classical Poets. NOTE TO POETS: The Society considers this page, where your poetry resides, to be your residence as well, where you may invite family, friends, and others to visit. Feel free to treat this page as your home and remove anyone here who disrespects you. Simply send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put “Remove Comment” in the subject line and list which comments you would like removed. The Society does not endorse any views expressed in individual poems or comments and reserves the right to remove any comments to maintain the decorum of this website and the integrity of the Society. Please see our Comments Policy here. CODEC News:Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window) 16 Responses Paul W Erlandson September 30, 2021 Good fun and good advice! Reply James Sale September 30, 2021 Paul – indeed it is! Reply Elizabeth September 30, 2021 Hi Evan, My daughter is taking the SAT on Saturday and this poem was just perfect to receive at this time 🙂 Thank you for a world of wisdom here in your magnificent poem! Reply jd September 30, 2021 Especially like the final verse but all flows with good advice via rhyme and meter from one who must be “in the know”. Might I be so bold as to say I missed a “the” between “in” and “ink” in the 2nd to last verse? Reply Brian Yapko September 30, 2021 A very fine, enjoyable and practical poem. The versification actually make your advice easier to memorize! This would have come in very handy for me back in the day. Reply Allegra Silberstein September 30, 2021 Good advice in a great poem…I hope teachers see this poem and share with their students. Allegra Reply Sally Cook September 30, 2021 Evan — Ah, if only many if us at SCP had earlier on had the benefit of your good advice, arrayed in such logical fashion ! Ah well — let a new generation benefit . Very nice poem ! Reply Joseph S. Salemi September 30, 2021 An absolutely spot-on bit of advice for students taking the SAT. This is EXACTLY what a student should know about how to approach this very important test. Evan’s tips are essentially about how to focus in, without distraction or time-wasting or wool-gathering. Reply Paul Freeman September 30, 2021 Sound advice, indeed! Reply David Paul Behrens September 30, 2021 Great advice! I can remember using many of the methods outlined in this poem when taking tests in school, in general. Reply Evan Mantyk September 30, 2021 Thank you all for your comments! Hopefully students get some use out of this. I am planning to give it to mine. I was in part inspired by Mr. Salemi’s “The Composition Teacher Addresses His Class” which you may enjoy https://classicalpoets.org/2018/05/06/the-composition-teacher-addresses-his-class-by-joseph-s-salemi/ Reply LTC Roy E. Peterson October 1, 2021 I know this advice is going to help some future students taking the SAT exam. Thoughtful, delightful and practical! Reply Margaret Coats October 1, 2021 The more pathways into the mind, the more likely the advice will make an impression. Great idea to add verse to the prose that students hear from a teacher or read in a test prep manual. Even better if you have them recite it to one another! Reply C.B. Anderson October 4, 2021 Your advice is worth listening to, but I’m glad that when I took the SATs that I relied on a mastery of vocabulary and inordinate attention to the core principles of mathematics. But yes, I also employed certain time-saving strategies. In my junior year in high school I scored 730M & 747V, and this was before they began normalizing the test results. At that point I realized that I had little to gain from taking the tests again in my senior year. Reply Margaret Coats October 4, 2021 Yes, and you had to deal with the infamous and tortuous Analogies, and calculators were strictly verboten. Just think if a student needed to know classic texts, as in the Imperial exams Evan chose for his illustration! Reply C.B. Anderson October 4, 2021 I loved the analogy questions, and I had a method for dealing with them: I locked onto the the relationship between X and Y (X is to Y as) and then applied the model to the “as Z is to ?” part. Obviously I became pretty good at it. Leave a Reply to C.B. Anderson Cancel ReplyYour email address will not be published.CommentName* Email* Website Notify me of follow-up comments by email. Notify me of new posts by email. Δ This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.