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The tests and scores that can help you gain admission to more selective colleges are changing. I see this as a tutor; though I am not an expert in educational statistics, I cobbled together some data that illustrates current trends. Starting in 1926, the SAT pioneered standardized college admissions tests. It provided valuable objective measures of academic potential. The SAT greatly improved equality in college admissions: in the 1930’s and 1940’s, selective colleges were reluctant to take excellent students from smaller unknown high schools because their risk of failure was higher. The SAT also reduced reliance on interview performance and social connections in admission decisions. Colleges gained experience at balancing test scores and grades with indicators of creativity and unusual achievements. In the 1930’s, about 10% of college-age Americans (about 25% of high school graduates) attended college. Because academic potential, finances, and personal preference... read more

Unfortunately, the way economics is typically taught today is extremely confusing for many students. The frustration that results even in introductory level classes is often palpable. If that describes your experience, don't beat yourself up. The primary problem is not with your understanding: the problem is that academic economics is completely divorced from common sense! Let's reason together: Economics is based on several core assumptions that are in place so that the math works out smoothly. A. People are always rational (okay...) B. People always maximize utility (what's utility?... well, money I guess) C. People are essentially the same (whatever...) Please note that the real wold, if anything, tells us that the exact opposite of these assumptions is true. No wonder it is difficult to get an understanding of economics: it's modeling a fictional world! The good news is that if we get underneath all the formal jargon of the subject, there are... read more

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