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SmithsonianMag.com
SmithsonianMag.com

Take the Very First SAT from 1926

SmithsonianMag.com
SmithsonianMag.com

Today the College Board announced major changes to the SAT, including a return to the 1600-point scoring system and the elimination of the penalty for guessing. The new test will debut in 2016.

But let's go all the way back to the beginning. The very first Scholastic Aptitude Test was administered to 8,000 students on June 23, 1926. Students had 97 minutes to answers 315 questions on nine subtests, including Definitions, Arithmetic, Logic, Artificial Language, and Paragraph Reading.

The test included questions like “[Blank] is the science of life or living organisms; the study of living matter” and “If a package containing twenty cigarettes costs fifteen cents, how many cigarettes can be bought for ninety cents?” Here are a few more sample questions, via Smithsonian:

"Find the answers to the problem below as quickly as you can. Do all your figuring on the margin of the page."

"Indicate which three [words] are thus MOST CLOSELY RELATED..."

And then there was the Artificial Language section:

The test replaced the College Entrance Examination, created in 1901 by a group of colleges that made up the College Entrance Examination Board (now just the College Board). “[The SAT] was really an attempt by this same group of colleges, which had then expanded somewhat, to get together and say, look, the current test we've got, the essay test with the Latin and the Greek, works fine for prep school students. But we'd like to have more than just prep school students show up on our campus," College Board veteran Brian O’Reilly told Smithsonian last year. And so the SAT—which could determine if both public and private school kids were ready for college—was born.

According to O’Reilly, students weren’t actually expected to finish the test—to do that, they would have had to answer three questions a minute. Students were encouraged to guess: There were no points taken off for wrong answers. That changed in the 1950s, though the guessing penalty is being walked back in this latest overhaul, which will have a major impact on how students are taught to take the test.

You can head on over to Smithsonian for more sample questions from the 1926 version of the exam. To learn more about the new 2016 incarnation, The Wire has a good recap.

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The 25 Most In-Demand Job Skills Right Now, According to LinkedIn
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Looking for a new job? Depending on what line of work you’re in, you may want to brush up on your technical skills—or learn some new ones. LinkedIn recently released a list of the 25 most desirable skills for 2018, and it’s clear that many employers are on the lookout for people with experience in computing, web development, and software and data engineering.

LinkedIn analyzed data from its member base of more than 500 million people to determine which skills are most needed by employers, according to Business Insider. The thousands of individual skills that can be found across member profiles were grouped into overarching categories (iOS, for instance, would go under the mobile development umbrella). Next, LinkedIn analyzed hiring and recruiting activity during an eight-month span and “identified the skill categories that belonged to members who were more likely to start a new role within a company and receive interest from companies.”

Here’s the full list:

1. Cloud and Distributed Computing
2. Statistical Analysis and Data Mining
3. Middleware and Integration Software
4. Web Architecture and Development Framework
5. User Interface Design
6. Software Revision Control Systems
7. Data Presentation
8. SEO/SEM Marketing
9. Mobile Development
10. Network and Information Security
11. Marketing Campaign Management
12. Data Engineering and Data Warehousing
13. Storage Systems and Management
14. Electronic and Electrical Engineering
15. Algorithm Design
16. Perl, Python, and Ruby
17. Shell Scripting Languages
18. Mac, Linux, and Unix Systems
19. Java Development
20. Business Intelligence
21. Software QA and User Testing
22. Virtualization
23. Automotive Services, Parts and Design
24. Economics
25. Database Management and Software

Many of these skills can be learned from the comfort of your home via online classes that are available on platforms like Udemy, Coursera, edX, and Lynda. While it couldn’t hurt to know these hard skills, 57 percent of business leaders surveyed by LinkedIn said soft skills are even more important. Those tend to be more universal across careers, with leadership, communication, collaboration, and time management being identified as the most crucial soft skills to have in 2018.

If you’re ready to start learning a new skill but don’t know where to start, check out this list of 25 ways to learn a new skill quickly.

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News
A 92-Year-Old Woman Just Earned Her Fourth College Degree
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Judging by the case of 92-year-old Annie Dillard, it's never too late to learn something new. Dillard, who owns and runs a hair salon in South Carolina, has just earned her fourth college degree.

The eager nonagenarian earned an associate degree in liberal arts from Midlands Tech in Columbia, South Carolina on May 9. She told reporters the big day felt “wonderful," according to WLTX 19.

However, her strut across the stage hardly marked the end of her lifelong love of learning, which she says keeps her mentally sharp. She will soon pursue her fifth degree in early childhood studies, and she hopes to work alongside her physician daughter, WIS reports. "I don't have any rest at all," she said, but told WLTX 19 she's fine with that because "only the strong survive."

Dillard said her experience living through the Civil Rights movement challenged her and pushed her to succeed. In the 1960s, she earned a teaching degree from Allen University—also located in Columbia—but she decided to continue working in cosmetology.

She is believed to be the oldest Midlands Tech graduate in the school’s history.

[h/t A Plus]

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