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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
Positive Role Models
People interviewed are from a wide range of backgrounds and ethnicities, and women are well represented, too. The students and adults trying to help them are hardworking and sincere.
Someone is quoted using "bulls--t" once.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that The Test and the Art of Thinking is a documentary about the flaws and drawbacks of the SAT and ACT standardized tests so widely used in the college admissions process. There's no content of concern except for one use of "bulls--t" in a quote. Nothing positive about the tests is presented; the best that can be said about the tests is that if you want to pursue higher education, these tests are blocking your path and you've just got to do whatever it takes to move them out of your way. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
This is a well-meaning, one-sided documentary that doesn't try to do anything beyond open people's eyes to the pitfalls and drawbacks of the SAT and ACT college admissions tests. And because The Test and the Art of Thinking doesn't offer any solutions or calls to action, viewers may be left feeling saddened and frustrated by the whole business. It's a thorough, and for many eye-opening, look at the differences between what's learned in school and what's on these tests, and at the tests themselves as tools for college admissions and scholarships.
It's also a really good opportunity to talk to your high schoolers about whether and why to take the SAT or the ACT, what exactly is being tested (knowledge, skill, intelligence, etc.?), what opportunities are available if they do well, what they might lose by not taking them, and how they can get the scores they need to achieve their goals.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.