the schmooze


Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Syosset, New York

Stanley H. Kaplan, the "maven" in preparing students for exams, died on Sunday, August 23, 2009.  He was 90.

How much do you know about this Jewish man who claimed to have discovered his affinity for teaching at the age of "nayn" (9)?  Grab a #2 "blayer" and let's see how well you do.

1.  Today, the initials S.A.T. represent

A) Scholastic Aptitude Test
B) Scholastic Assessment Test
C) Sheer Agony Test
D) Such A Tough (test)
E) "Ikh zol azoy visn fun tsores."
    (I have no idea.  I should know as little about trouble.)

2  The Jewish Board of Family & Children's Service--in a New York Times obituary--called Stanley H. Kaplan

A) "brilyant" (brilliant)
B) a "mensch"
C) "inteligent"
D) a "gelernter" (scholar)

3.  Stanley H Kaplan has been labeled

A) "The Cram King"
B) a "quack"
C) a "snake oil salesman"
D) all of the above

4.  Who purchased Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Centers, Ltd.?

A) Princeton Review
B) The Washington Post Company
C) Bright Apple Tutoring & Educational Services, Inc.
D) "Es art mikh vi der vant."  (I don't care.)

5  Kaplan said,

A) "As long as there are S.A.T. exams, there will always be prayer ("tfile") in school."
B) "Acquiring test-taking skills is the same as learning to play the piano or ride a bicycle  It requires practice, practice, practice.  Repetition breeds familiarity. Familiarity breeds confidence!"
C) "To say you can't improve scores is to say you can't improve students, and I disagree with that."
D) "Seykhl iz an eydele zakh." (Wisdom is a precious thing.)
E) "When facing a difficult task, act as though it is impossible to fail.  If you're going after Moby Dick, take along the tartar sauce."
F)  "Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity."

6.  Why did Stanley Kaplan invent the middle initial "H"?

A) Because it stood for "Higher" scores
B) Because a professor once confused Mr. Kaplan's grades with those of another
    Stanley Kaplan.  It prevented further mix-ups
C) "Vos dreyste mir a kop?"
    (What are you bothering me about?
    What are you twisting my head about?)

7.  In the early '80s, Kaplan

A) Would hold "Thank Goodness It's Over" pizza parties after each S.A.T.
B) co-authored the book, "Chicken Soup for the 'Nervez' Test Taker"
C) attempted to get "vebzaytlekh" (websites) on the Internet's WWW
D) called the "GMAT" the "Good Mother Aptitude Test"
E) designed a computer program that uses Valspeak to teach math

8. The United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism wrote,

A) "Study hard and feel great because by taking the test [S.A.T.] on a Sunday, you've increased your Shabbat observance and helped to guarantee that this option is available for Jewish students in the future."
B) "Young people need to know that there is sufficient reward in life for succeeding simply at the level of 'doing one's best.' The plain truth is that you are not a failure if you don't make the top spot."
C) "The dictionary is the only place where success comes before work."

9. The first sentence in Kaplan's book, "How I Broke Testing Barriers for Millions of Students and Caused a Sonic Boom in  the Business of Education" reads:

A) "People are often surprised to hear that unlike General Mills' mythical Betty Crocker there really is a Stanley H. Kaplan behind Kaplan, Inc."
B) "Asians score higher on SATs..."
C) "An educated man is one who has finally discovered that there are some questions to which nobody has the answer."

10. An entire generation of Kaplan students  were taught,

A) "Education is not received.  It is Achieved."
B) "It's very difficult to teach children the alphabet these days.  They think V comes right after T."
C) "boo, boo, boo, square root of two"-- to help them remember how the Pythagorean formula applies to an isosceles right triangle."
D) "When simplifying equations, one often drops expressions such as 7-7 that equal 0."

11.  Mr. Kaplan has been proud of which   fact/facts?

A) Arthur Levine, the president of Teachers College at Columbia University raised his S.A.T.'s by two hundred and eighty- two points, making it possible for him to attend a better university than he ever would have imagined.
B) Charles (Chuck) Schumer, the senior senator from New York, studied while he worked the mimeograph machine in Kaplan's office, and ended up with close to a perfect sixteen hundred.
C) In 1979 the F.T.C. found that test preparation by Kaplan and other companies could improve students' scores.
D) This year (2009), 85% of New York high-school students--nearly 160,000-- took the S.A.T.
E)  all of the above

12. To help test takers to do their best,  Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center  in New York suggested

A) Get a good night's sleep beforehand
B) Bring a watch to make sure you don't spend too much time on any one question
C) Use your mind.  If you arrive at the testing area without your mind, you are sure to do poorly on the test.
D) You have the right to have your seat changed if you give a legitimate reason. The proctor, of course, decides whether your reason is "legitimate" or not.  Being placed in a right-handed desk when you are left-handed, having the sun in your eyes, and sitting with water dropping on your head from a leak in the ceiling are all examples of legitimate reasons.
E) If you skip a question, remember to skip an answer space, too.

13. If the following math problem appears  on the Oct. 17, 2009, S.A.T. exam, the  Kaplan family will give a "shaineh  gelechter" (hearty laugh)!

      A Brooklyn mother can complete a paint  job in 5 days when she works "aleyn"  (alone).  With the help of her  "tsenerglingn" (teenager), the job can  be completed in 3 days.  How long   would it take the teenager to do it  alone?

A) 6 1/2 days
B) 7 days
C) 7 1/2 days
D) until Spring break

1.  B
2.  B
3.  D
4.  B
5.  B and C   "E" was said by H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
6.  B
7.  A
8.  A
9.  A
10. C
11. E
12. A, B, & E   "C" and "D" were suggested by "Up Your   SAT Score" by Mistry, Rossi & Berger
13. C

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe's favorite New York Magazine Competition #923,
in which readers were asked for invented toll-free numbers, was won by John J. Conti.
  1-800-728-5---.  Provide the next three numbers to reach the Educational Testing


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Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe is the author of
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"Are Yentas, Kibitzers, & Tummlers Weapons of Mass Instruction?  Yiddish
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