Sunday, February 27, 2011

Cross Examinations

If I'd known how few of these exam abbrs. were possible, I'd have done this post a lot sooner. When I started solving US puzzles, it seemed like there were dozens of them: the only pattern I could see was that they mostly ended -AT ... except for this one:


Now my researches suggest there are only eight exams in crosswords. If I can handle compass dirs., I can deal with exams too!

Still, I'm surprised at how dull the exam names are, which certainly makes them harder to learn. How come no one came up with catchy acronyms for these tests? What about ELSA (Exam for Law School Admission) or MEGA (Management Exam for Graduate Applicants)?


Abbr. What it stands for Typical clue
SAT Scholastic Aptitude Test Precollege exam
GRE Graduate Record Examination Test for Ph.D. wannabes
GED General Educational Development Option for a H.S. dropout
ACT American College Testing Coll. placement exam
GMAT Graduate Management Admission Test M.B.A. hopeful's hurdle
LSAT Law School Admission Test Aspiring atty.'s exam
MCAT Medical College Admission Test Future doc's exam
PSAT Preliminary Scholastic Aptitude Test H.S. junior's exam



saphir said...

Although it's not often clued as such in crosswords, it might be worth including the SAT "alternative" ACT exam (an abbreviation of the administering company name, not the exam itself).

Crossword Man said...

Thanks saphir. One wonders why ACT isn't referenced more. I couldn't find any uses in the NYT, perhaps for geographical reasons (see map in the Wikipedia article). Anyway, ACT's now added to the list, so we're all ready for it!

David said...

In the old days, there was a separate National Merit Scholar Qualifying Test (NMSQT). It has now been rolled into the PSAT. I wonder if NMSQT has ever been an answer in the NYT.

Crossword Man said...

I don't believe NMSQT has been used and the opportunity may now have passed...

Nora said...

since when did you stop doing the crossword? I found your NYT Crossword posts extremely interesting.

Crossword Man said...

Hi Nora. Yes, I stopped the crossword commentaries at the beginning of 2011 - see New Year's Re-Solutions for an explanation.