School books and SATs


If you question why I even bothered to read “Cinderella Rules”, know that there was a reason. I noticed that school books do almost nothing to help prepare for the vocabulary section of the SATs. And even if you argue that SATs aren’t everything, I must say that the vocabulary section is not much to ask of someone who has grown up with english. So why do people suck at the vocab. section of SATs? Becuase school books suck at giving a student a good vocabulary. And I have proof.

First I decided to be fair and I picked 5 books of varied difficulty but which are commonly read (not necessarily in schools).

  • The Canterbury Tales

  • Jane Eyre

  • The Picture of Dorian Gray

  • All the Pretty Horses

  • Harry Potter 1

  • The Cinderella Rules

In order to be fair the same amount of text (word count wise) was selected from each book to be analyzed for Sentence length and number of SAT words in the text. My hypothesys was that the English standards for good writting and vocabulary are based on books from the Victorian Era. Interestingly enough I seemed to be right.


I wrote a lot but I decided to just omit everything and simply say, either SAT changes the vocabulary list (which is impossible since our current vocabulary is almost non-existent) or schools better change the books that students are reading. Jane Eyre has more than twice the many SAT words as All the Pretty Horses. Not to mention that for some very disturbing reason Cinderella Rules is also more complex than the horse book.