My survey is slightly less scientific (but only slightly) than that performed by a New York high school student and reported by ABC News: Has Teen Unlocked the Secret to a Better SAT Score? Nebbishy fourteen-year-old Milo Beckman has taken the SAT twice, and found that even though his second essay was factually inaccurate and generally inferior, it earned a higher score.
It was longer:
"My hypothesis is that longer essays on the SAT essay component score higher," he said.
So he asked his fellow students at New York City's Stuyvesant High School to count how many lines they had written on their essays and to provide their scores.
"I thought, 'This ought to be interesting.' I've always wondered about this, too," said David Sugarman, a classmate.
"This was something directly related to the SAT itself and the means by which, you know, we were being graded," another classmate, Yana Azova, said.
Milo says out of 115 samples, longer essays almost always garnered higher scores.
"The probability that such a strong correlation would happen by chance is 10 to the negative 18th. So 00000 …18 zeros and then (an) 18. Which is zero," he said.
Me? I kinda wonder what are the chances that it's really an 18 after those 18 zeroes?
Another thing I wonder is, why has a 14-year-old already taken the SAT twice? I only took it once, as a high school senior, and that was under duress. Back then, the top score was something like 23. Today, you can get 14 million on your SAT. And you still might not get into Harverd.
The ABC News story follows up Milo's research with some MIT professor's insane blathering about how to do well on this (largely imaginary, according to my research) essay section, including such advice as memorize some big words and sprinkle them randomly throughout your writing, and conclude your paper with a quote by a famous person, even if it is totally unrelated to your topic, and even if you don't really remember it well enough to get it right. I hasten to add that I am NOT making this part up.
Which explains why I didn't get into MIT. As the poet Sherman Helmsley said, "I am the Captain of my Fate, I am the something something here in Seoul."