Father and child sit together smiling while looking at a smart phone.

Want more recommendations for your family?

Sign up for our weekly newsletter for entertainment inspiration

Parents' Guide to

The Test and the Art of Thinking

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Standardized test docu shows problems, offers no solutions.

Movie NR 2018 85 minutes
The Test and the Art of Thinking Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

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.

Movie Details

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.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate