High school students taking the revamped SAT exam this week were surprised to find that the test focused entirely on Britney Spears material. Rather than sections on Math, Critical Reading, and Writing, the exam only includes questions related to the life and times of the pop diva. The College Board, which owns and administers the exam, had not publicized the Britney Spears emphasis in advance. College Board officials said they were trying to offset advantages some students had because they took preparatory courses or actually attended classes.
Many test takers were relieved that the SAT focused on knowledge they had already mastered. "I don't know why I got so nervous beforehand," said junior Kellie Wessin, "I've got the Britney stuff nailed. And I suck at math, writing, and all that other stuff, so it was totally cool."
But some parents and students were upset that the time and money they spent on preparation had not paid off. Steve Vesker spent $3,000 for a class on SAT essay writing skills he never needed. "I'm a better writer now, but so what," he said. "I was clueless on all fourteen questions about what she puts in her bellybutton." Companies that provide test prep materials are refusing to give refunds, stating that they urged students to supplement the formal preparation with as much MTV as possible.
A spokesman for the College Board said that previous SAT exams had strayed too far from practical "real world" knowledge, and that familiarity with all things Britney is a good gauge of future success in college. The company expressed concern that only 20% of high school curricula include courses in celebrity studies.
The new SAT takes 45 minutes longer to complete than in previous years, a reflection of the vast amount of Britney Spears material available. The test also includes a pictorial section, where students face challenges such as matching the cleavage with the appropriate timeframe. Colleges expect to put more emphasis on SAT scores than ever when considering admissions. "We have no room for geeks who are not up on Britney's love life and hairstyles," explained one anonymous Ivy League admissions official.