A Parent's SAT Score

Last Updated Jul 6, 2009 2:11 PM EDT

If parents had to retake the SAT, how would they do?

You can get an inkling of how you might fare by taking a mini SAT that The Princeton Review devised as a challenge for parents.

Earlier this year, a reporter for The Wall Street Journal retook the real SAT 41 years after her original try. What she discovered should provide hope for all middle-aged parents whose smug teenagers think they are intellectually superior.

Sue Shellenbarger, a 57-year-old mom, bombed on her first practice SAT math test. She scored in the 430 to 490 range, which is significantly below average. But then Shellenbarger did what we badger our teenagers to do: she studied.

Ultimately, the journalist scored a perfect 800 on the critical reading section of the SAT and she pulled her SAT math score up to 600. The professional writer was surprised that she only earned a 10 out of a possible 12 points on the essay.

Mercifully, I don't remember what my SAT scores were, but I do know that my only preparation -- like so many other parents -- was to sharpen some yellow pencils. But here's good news if your teen wants to know what your SAT scores were: you can add points. For anyone who took the SAT prior to 1995, here are the guidelines for revising your SAT test scores to make them comparable to today's results.

Now don't you feel better?

SAT image by Marlith, CC 2.0.