Counter Intelligence: SAT Prep Courses Flunk the Test

See why prep courses do little to boost improvement and take a look at our list of must-reads that will have you chatting at the lunch counter, over IM or wherever it is that people actually talk these days.

  • An independent study found that pricey SAT prep courses do little to actually improve students' scores. The problem may lie in the fact test tutors rely on hard practice tests to judge students' starting performance, which creates a false inflation used to justify thousands in fees. The National Association for College Admission Counseling found that a prep course adds 30 points to a student's score on average.
  • A mathematical similarity between city infrastructure and the nutritional needs of animals has shocked researchers. The measure of a city's infrastructure -- gas stations, roadways, etc -- grows in proportion to the 0.77 power of its population. This is true in metropolises across the world -- and the law is virtually the same for the metabolic needs of mammal growth, which is 0.74 power of its body weight.
  • The "killer chip" would place a GPS transceiver under a person's skin so authorities could keep track of undesirables. Officials in Germany refused to patent the device, which was billed by the inventor as a way to track terrorist, criminals, fugitives, illegal immigrants among others.
  •  Celebrities aren't the only ones who prefer to saddle their children with bizarre names like "Apple" and "Suri" -- regular people do too! A study of millions of baby names shows that the trend of giving children less common name began after World War II but people now more than ever want to give their kids unique names. In 1955, 32 percent of boys had one of the top-10 names, but in 2007 only 9 percent did. For girls, 22 percent had one of the 10 most popular names in 1955 and only 8 percent did in 2007, according to the study.
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