There used to be a time when I thought I was really good at math. For instance, I was done, over, finished! with AP Calculus after 10th grade, and got nothing but As. (Never mind that integrating and differentiating is something I rarely had to do thereafter even as a mechanical engineer.) I also thought I did pretty well on the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) during the senior year of high school, which I won’t reveal my score but will immodestly say that I only missed 2 or 3 questions in the math portion.
Well, apparently that was underachieving and would not hold a candle to certain sixth-graders around here. Witness Tae Kim of Denver, CO, a 12-year-old who scored a perfect 800 in the SAT math section.
Don’t ask what a kid who hasn’t even hit puberty yet is doing taking a college entrance exam while many high school graduates (and dropouts) have not even done so. I want to know what is in the water this child is drinking. Shouldn’t this kid be worrying instead about things like comic books, summer camp, or catching cooties from girls? No, really, I applaud this guy, his parents and his teachers. They must be doing something right.
Anyhow, this blog entry is mainly for those of us who sometimes have problems doing basic addition and subtraction nowadays. Just think of this kid, say to yourself, “surely I have the intellectual capacity exceeding that of a 12-year-old,” and then bust out your calculator or Excel spreadsheet instead.
Click here for some sample SAT math questions courtesy of the Princeton Review.