Testing giant The College Board announced today that 2012 SAT tests will include a section on creativity. The standardized testing company has come up with new techniques for using multiple choice tests to measure innovative thinking.
President Gaston Caperton said university clients are looking for ways to differentiate applicants. A team of in-house psychometric experts and outside consultants developed new measurement algorithms.
"Measuring creativity is a real challenge," said Caperton, "and our team has developed unique instruments for that purpose." The non-profit tried out its new tests on a wide variety of prominent individuals known for their creativity, or lack thereof.
The late Steve Jobs took the test a few months before his death, and reportedly scored a perfect 800. Other notables in the validation process included Mark Zuckerberg (780), Robin Williams (720), Herman Cain (650) and Donald Trump (240).
A sample question from the validation phase of the test follows:
What is your favorite color?
c. Blue ... no red ... aaaaaaaaahhhhhhh!!!!!
Answers a or b would score 1 out of a possible 5 points. Answer d, the best answer, is worth 5 points. Answer c scores negative 2 points because it's an obvious copy of a Monty Python bit.
Test preparation company Kaplan quickly announced it is developing a course for the new portion of the exam.
Meanwhile, the organization FairTest, a frequent critic of standardized testing, issued a statement that it has no comment at this time. Spokesman Robert Schaeffer said the group will thoroughly review the new test before condemning it.