If you want to relive your adolescent glory days (or the most miserable part of growing up, depending on how high school went for you) by taking a standardized test for fun, mark your calendar.
On Saturday, a Brooklyn-based art collective is hosting an online gaming event inspired by the SAT, the notorious college admissions test that has become a right of passage for millions of American high school students. And there's a cash prize.
“One of your worst childhood experiences,” the event’s website reads. “Gamified!”
The site looks like an old-school Scantron form and is administered by the “MschfBoard” — a take on the College Board, the nonprofit behind the SAT and other standardized tests like the PSAT and AP subject matter tests. The College Board tells Money that it "is not affiliated with the organization or the project."
Similar to the real SAT, the so-called "MSAT" will be a multiple-choice exam that quizzes participants on reading, writing and math. It's just under four hours long and will be scored out of 1,600.
Participants must pay $52 to enter the MSAT game, and whoever has the best score on Saturday’s online test will take home the entire pot of money. In case of a tie, the person with the fastest time will have the edge.
As of Thursday morning, more than 300 people had registered to take the test, with a total prize pool just over $17,000.
The MSCHF collective — the art group that was also behind Lil Nas X's viral “Satan shoes” and a browser extension that lets you watch Netflix at work by simulating a video call — likens to the college admissions process to a contest, albeit one in which you don’t win money but rather “a mountain of debt.”
The group points to years of criticism of the (actual) SAT as an unfair measure of college readiness but describes the test as “downright meritocratic” compared to the rest of the college admissions process (think: legacy admissions, athletic scholarships that favor wealthy students and more). In recent years, many colleges have gone test-optional, nixing policies that require applicants to take the SAT and/or ACT. The trend got even more popular during the pandemic — as of December, more than 1,800 schools weren't making seniors provide SAT or ACT scores to be considered for fall 2022 admission.
Registration for the MSCHF SAT closes on Friday; you can sign up here. And there’s no need to worry if you don’t have time to study.
“Everyone will be cheating,” MSCHF’s site says, “and we don’t care. Cheating is a legitimate test-taking strategy.”