College-bound kids were startled by an essay prompt in the SAT administered last Saturday, March 12, 2011, which asked them to write about reality television, reports The New York Times.
The problem, according to the piece, is that some students complained they had never watched reality television because they neither have the time nor the interest.
The story says that one test-taker wrote on a college-focused website, "This is one of those moments when I wish I actually watched TV."
The SAT test included the question, "How authentic can these shows be when producers design challenges for the participants and then editors alter filmed scenes?”
Angela Garcia, the executive director of the SAT program, said the prompt had gone through thorough pre-testing with both students and teachers and she said she didn’t think it was unfair to ask a question of students who may not have time to watch reality TV.
The question did begin with an explanatory statement, noting that the shows "depict ordinary people competing in everything from singing and dancing to losing weight, or just living their everyday lives." It added an assertion: "Most people believe that the reality these shows portray is authentic, but they are being misled," the story points out.