Re: Test Scores (was Causality)

James Rogers (
Fri, 13 Dec 1996 15:02:43 -0800

At 01:09 PM 12/13/96 -0500, you wrote:
>On Thursday, December 12, 1996 2:38 PM, James Rogers wrote:
><I first took my SAT when I was 10 (my freshman year in high
>A high school freshman at age 10 - you really were a prodigy!

Mostly the fault of my parents. They were both college educated and they
taught me reading and arithmetic before I even started kindergarten. In the
state of Washington at the time, they used to give children IQ tests prior
to entering kindergarten. I am pretty sure my extensive pre-kindergarten
education skewed the results, because my IQ scores were considered
remarkable. Is it still politically correct to give kids IQ tests these days?

They went to great lengths to get a computer for me to use when I was young
(circa 1980) despite the fact that we lived in poverty at the time. I
attribute my current success in the computer industry to the fact that they
bought that first computer (which I loved the instant they got it). A
worthwhile investment with good foresight on their part. Sadly, they still
aren't particularly computer literate.

I hold the theory that differences in measured IQ can be mostly attributed
to the environment the kid is brought up in from 0-6 years, with genetics
being a less differentiating factor. When I was born, both my parents had a
lot of time on their hands, so they spent their time teaching me and playing
with me. I have three younger brothers, but by the time they were born, my
parents didn't have as much time anymore, and they had to divide their
attention among more kids. The fact that all my siblings have an IQ of at
least 140 may be partially attributable to good genetics (there are a lot of
engineers and scientists in my family tree), but this only provides a higher
than average baseline for good environment to work on. There is a
noticeable pattern in the IQs of my siblings and myself that can be
correlated to certain environmental factors.

><Does anyone know how long the SATs have been given?>
>Well, Lyle has said he took them back in the early 60s. However, I
>looked back at my own high school transcript and found that there were
>a number of other interesting tests that used to be used in (most?)
>U.S. schools:
> National
>Date Grade Age Percentile Test
>6911 9 14 98 ITED
>7011 10 15 97 ITED
>7110 11 16 88 PSAT
>7111 11 16 87 ITED
>7202 11 16 96 CTMM
>7204 11 16 86 SAT
>73?? 12 17 Skipped the tests?
>ITED = Iowa Test of Educational Development
>PSAT = Preliminary SAT
>CTMM = Calif. Test of Mental Maturity (IQ?)

I remember taking ITED, but CTMM doesn't ring any bells.

>Anyway, the point of this is that focus and attitude can have alot to
>do with how well you score on these tests. I dropped ten percentage
>points after going through what I've labeled a 'psychedelic
>singularity'. I think I began ignoring alot of my classwork
>(transcript grades reflect this) to study things not on the
>curriculum, such as _The Essential Works of Anarchism_, radical
>psychology (and other hip topics of that time), letting my verbal and
>mathematical skills slip.
>At that time I wasn't planning to go to college right away - I wanted
>to "camp out on the land and set my soul free" - and computers were
>just something that Big Brother (supposedly) used to control the
>'oppressed masses'.

Hehe. Something similar happened to me. I became disinterested in what I
was being taught in high school (primarily because it was *so damn boring*)
and studied, in great depth, things that I was interested in like AI, coding
theory, high-energy physics, chemistry, etc. It shows on my transcripts.
Absurdly high test scores (usually perfect) and very average grades. I
always kind of wondered how universities interpret that kind of pattern.

-James Rogers