The Arizona Desert Lamp

Is smarterer than dumm sophomorez?

Posted in Campus by Evan Lisull on 26 August 2009

It’s less than 350 words, but try reading President Nagata’s letter to the editor in today’s paper without letting your eyes glaze over. Technical entrepreneurs take note: there is much money to be made in an English-Bureaucratese generator. University overhead could be reduced by up to 30 percent!

At any rate, I come not to mock Caesar, but to question him. Nagata’s second paragraph reads (emphasis added):

I’d like to first start off by expressing my excitement to the incoming freshmen. The nearly 7,000 students encompassing the class of 2013 represent the most diverse and academically successful entry class to date. As freshmen, I challenge you to set high academic standards for yourselves, get involved, be spirited and bleed red and blue.

 Here are the SAT scores of classes stretching back to 2005 (2005-2008; 2009):

Here are ACT scores:

Here are average high school GPAs:

You can hardly blame Nagata, though; after all, as part of the administrative apparatus he’s no doubt been reading the latest dispatches out of that great public media source, UANews, channeling Daft Punk in declaring the ’13s “bigger, smarter, diverse-r.” Or perhaps he was skimming arizona.edu as he composed the missive, stumbling across the item that literally called the class of 2013 the “Biggest and Best Freshman Class Ever.” Like car salesmen, every new thing at the university must be the Biggest, Most Spectacular, Awe-inspiring, impressive, raddest event EVER!

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5 Responses

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  1. Averaging less than a 24 on the ACT?–I thought 24 was the minimum “college bound” standard. Then I searched on Google: shows what I know! 20. How hard is it to get 20?

  2. Laura Donovan said, on 26 August 2009 at 7:49 pm

    A 20 is probably the equivalent to a 960 on the original SAT. It’s a low test score, but some people just don’t test well.

  3. d said, on 27 August 2009 at 12:24 pm

    The scale you use makes the SAT scores seem more significant than they really are. There is only a 12-point gap between the highest and lowest data points.

    • Evan Lisull said, on 27 August 2009 at 1:42 pm

      Yeah – Google Docs is unfortunately automated when it comes to scaling, so it does so on a relative scale. Of course, that sword cuts both ways – the gains in ACT scores are even more marginal, yet it appears to be a giant jump upwards on the graph.

      At any rate, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that this class is exceptionally dumb, but rather pretty mediocre, perhaps slightly less qualified compared to their recent predecessors. It is most certainly not indicative of “citius, altius, fortius” or “the greatest freshman class ever,” and indicates stagnation more than anything else.

  4. […] – except for that one time – has he managed to break into the Wildcat office, turn a snarky post into a page 1 story, and get it to the copy-editors – all on a Sunday […]


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