Examined Life

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Kenya Hicks-Torres

Course: ENG 1101
Dr. Ross
October 10, 2012
English Essay #1- Examined Life
In Malcolm Gladwell’s essay Examined Life Gladwell believes that Stanley H. Kaplan ruined the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) by making it coachable. The Educational Testing Service, that created the SAT, did not intend for the test to be coachable or studied for. They believed that cramming or last minute review was pointless because the focus of the test was not about what a student learned, but what a student was capable of learning. The accounts and research that Gladwell displayed in his essay “Examined Life” was thorough and proved his argument in my opinion.

In his essay, Gladwell strategically mentions Kaplan’s practices, achievements and opinions. I believe that throughout his life Stanley Kaplan excelled in his studies because he believed in studying and preparing. When Kaplan was a child he enjoyed studying, while the children in the neighborhood were out playing Kaplan was home studying. Kaplan was not satisfied with just passing tests himself, when he observed his fellow classmates struggling he helped them as well. Kaplan believed that every test should be studied for and he believed that just getting a good score wasn’t enough. He was confident in his abilities even to the point when he felt he was given an incorrect grade, he went to his professor and expressed his displeasure, only to find out that there had been a mishap when the professor was correcting the papers and his paper had been switched with a student that did not measure up to his academic perseverance. He was so confident that he said the “H” in his name Stanley H. Kaplan stood for “Higher scores!”

Gladwell mentioned in his essay that when Kaplan was introduced to the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) by a student in 1946, and informed that the test was not to be studied for, Kaplan was puzzled and set out to prove that this test, just as every test he had encountered in his...
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