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Take the Very First SAT from 1926

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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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Tulane University Offers Free Semester to Students Affected by Hurricane Maria
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As Puerto Rico continues to assess the damage left by Hurricane Maria last month, one American institution is offering displaced residents some long-term hope. Tulane University in New Orleans is waiving next semester’s tuition fees for students enrolled at Puerto Rican colleges prior to the storm, Forbes reports.

From now until November 1, students whose studies were disrupted by Maria can apply for one of the limited spots still open for Tulane’s spring semester. And while guests won’t be required to pay Tulane's fees, they will still be asked to pay tuition to their home universities as Puerto Rico rebuilds. Students from other islands recovering from this year’s hurricane season, like St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are also welcome to submit applications.

Tulane knows all too well the importance of community support in the wake of disaster. The campus was closed for all of the 2005 fall semester as New Orleans dealt with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. During that time, schools around the world opened their doors to Tulane students who were displaced. The university wrote in a blog post, “It’s now our turn to pay it forward and assist students in need.”

Students looking to study as guests at Tulane this spring can fill out this form to apply.

[h/t Forbes]

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Pablo, a Groundbreaking New BBC Series, Teaches Kids About Autism
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Autism spectrum disorder affects one in 68 kids in the U.S., but there’s still a lot of confusion surrounding the nature of the condition and what it feels like to have it. As BuzzFeed reports, a new British children’s program aims to teach viewers about autism while showing kids on the spectrum characters and stories to which they can relate.

Pablo, which premiered on the BBC’s kids’ network CBeebies earlier this month, follows a 5-year-old boy as he navigates life with autism. The show uses two mediums: At the start of an episode, Pablo is played by a live actor and faces everyday scenarios, like feeling overstimulated by a noisy birthday party. When he’s working out the conflict in his head, Pablo is depicted as an animated doodle accompanied by animal friends like Noa the dinosaur and Llama the llama.

Each character illustrates a different facet of autism spectrum disorder: Noa loves problem-solving but has trouble reading facial expression, while Llama notices small details and likes repeating words she hears. On top of demonstrating the diversity of autism onscreen, the show depends on individuals with autism behind the scenes as well. Writers with autism contribute to the scripts and all of the characters are voiced by people with autism.

“It’s more than television,” the show’s creator Gráinne McGuinness said in a short documentary about the series. “It’s a movement that seeks to build awareness internationally about what it might be like to see the world from the perspective of someone with autism.”

Pablo can be watched in the UK on CBeebies or globally on the network's website.

[h/t BuzzFeed]


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