The Other SAT (StraighterLine Aptitude Test)

Jaime Dalbke

If you've been paying attention to the posts on this blog, you know that we took a swipe recently - a BIG swipe - at the stranglehold that the Scholastic Aptitude Test has on American higher education.

What can we offer as an alternative? In the interest of fair play, we are offering up an SAT of our own - the StraighterLine Aptitude Test. So sharpen up your pencil, put fresh AAA's in your calculator and here we go . . .


1. A small state college charges $250 per credit hour and requires you to take a minimum of four courses a semester, each carrying three credit hours. At StraighterLine, you can take those same four courses for $39 apiece*. Your total savings for taking those four courses at StraighterLine would be:
a) $150
b) $2,844
c) $39,965
d) All of the above
*after paying $99/month for as long as you are enrolled; that sum is not included in the calculations for this question.


2. Paying an extra $2,844 to earn 12 college credits could only be described as ______.
a) Insane
b) Irrational
c) Irresponsible
d) All of the above


Read the following passage and answer the question that follows it.

Given the current recession, families are becoming belligerent when faced with rising college expenses that can often rise to $40,000, $50,000 or even more in the current educational arena.

3. In the above passage, the word "belligerent" (line 1) most closely means:
a) Angry
b) Hostile
c) Argumentative
d) All of the above


Read the following quote from a recent article in BusinessWeek:

"The idea of some kind of open-source, online, low-cost revolution in education has become a lit fuse, sparking and crackling its way toward an explosion. Here and there, in places ranging from Silicon Valley to Indonesia, a few bold universities and entrepreneurs are taking pokes at the concept. Start-ups such as StraighterLine . . . are offering online courses for college credit for hundreds of dollars, compared with thousands of dollars at most universities."

Assignment: Write an essay that answers the question, "Is there ever a justification for spending a minimum of $2,844 to pay for four college courses, when you can save that amount at StraighterLine for the same four courses?" Support your viewpoint with personal observations and supporting material of your choice.

How to Submit Your Score

Not all colleges will accept the Straighterline Aptitude Test in place of the standard SAT. But we will! Contact us now to find out how to get started.

Answer key:
Question 1: B
Question 2: D
Question 3: D

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