The R.A.T. (Real World Aptitude Test): Preparing Yourself for Leaving Home (Capital Ideas)

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9781892123428: The R.A.T. (Real World Aptitude Test): Preparing Yourself for Leaving Home (Capital Ideas)

Do you know how many teaspoons of sugar the average 12 ounce can of soda contains? Can you change a flat tire? Can you identify the ten largest cities in the world? The Real-World Aptitude Test (R.A.T.) answers these questions and more. The R.A.T. is divided into two parts, the first containing questions in thirty different subject areas, and the second providing answers and explanations to these life-defining questions. Subject areas include cooking, managing money, etiquette, geography, sports, and many more. The R.A.T. provides answers to some of life’s most common stumbling blocks, as well as facts on generalized knowledge in areas such as geography and politics.

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About the Author:

Homer E. Moyer, Jr., a distinguished international corporate lawyer, is the father of four children. A graduate of Emory University and Yale Law School, he has held senior government positions in both Republican and Democratic administrations; co-founded a pro bono law reform project in Central and Eastern Europe, and once served as a White House social aide. A pianist and lyricist, Mr. Moyer lives in the Washington, D.C. area

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

THE RAT is a test to be taken and passed before leaving home to enter the real world--the real world of work, further education, adventure, or some combination of the three. It is designed to test skills and knowledge you might not learn in school but that could be quite useful in life.
In superficial respects, THE RAT bears some resemblance to the SAT, the infamous Scholastic Aptitude Test, with which most students are all too familiar. If you are an alert reader, you will already have noticed, for example, that there is some similarity between the two names. Both can be administered at about the same stage of life (or later, when you might assume that your score would be higher). Those who take THE RAT can score from 200 to 800, as is the case with both sections of the SAT. And, as with the SAT, a perfect score of 800 on THE RAT is hard to come by.
From the perspective of the test taker, however, THE RAT Iis vastly superior and far friendlier. THE RAT may be taken in the comfort o your own home; you may take as long as you want to fiish, and, if you like, you can take it a second or third time without the answers having changed. Most important, the answers are in the fact. And whatever your score, it will not be mailed in an official looking envelope to employers or colleges with whom you may soon be interviewing--or colleagues who may have laughed at you in the past because you didn't know how to change a tire.

THE ORIGINS OF THE RAT
The idea of a test of practical skills and know how began in our house as a playful notion. It was prompted by the sudden realization that our oldest child was to leave home soon for college. Is she, we wondered, really prepared for what she might encounter in the real world? Have 13 years of schooling and 17 years of loving, but undoubtedly imperfect, parenting, prepared her? Have we given her the skills, knowledge, know-how, and savvy with which she should be equipped for a somewhat intimidating real world?
We were not, we recognized, the first parents to be seized with these concerns, Literature is sprinkled with advice from parents to departing children. The advice of Polonius to his departing son, Laertes (Hamlet, Act 1, Scene 3) which shows up in the answer section on "Managing Your Money," is one of the most famous. A more recent classic that reflects the same instinct, Life's Little Instruction Book, grew out of Jackson Brown's handwritten notes of advice that he accumulated and presented to his son when he left for college. These parental instincts may thus be eternal.
As THE RAT began to grown and take shape, it was not just 16-25 years olds who found it educational and entertaining. Those who were responsible for those about to enter the real world also found that a high score was elusive, or decided that it might be appropriate to exclude one or more entire sections of THE RAT for some improvised, unpersuasive reason. As a result, a number of friends are impatient for THE RAT so they can give it to someone else to take.
ANATOMY OF THE RAT
Although dividing the line is sometimes blurry, THE RAT focuses on real-world subjects, rather than the usual academic subjects that have been covered in countless pop quizzes and traumatic final exams in school. Instead, THE RAT addresses 30- real-life subjects. As a result, THE RAT's anatomy is a bit more varied than its ever-present namesake the SAT.
QUESTIONS: THE RAT's question are not standardized, and many are quite friendly. There are the familiar multiple choice questions, for which you know the right answer is in there somewhere. And--immmediatey increaing your chances of a right answer to 50-50--there are true false questions.
In addition, there are fill-in-the-blank questions. SOme ask for multilpe answers, some ask you to identify an incorrect answer, and some have multiple correct answers. some give you the choice of which question to answer. A few ask you to describe or demonstrate how to do something. And finally, as a small gift to those who take THE RAT, there are questions that simply ask the reader to think carefully about something.
ANSWERS: Unlike other, less friendly precollege tests, THE RAT comes with answers in the back. In fact, the Amswer Section comprises most of the book. And if that is not user-friendly enough, the questions and answers are cross-referenced to one another.
The Answer Section contains at least one correct answer for every question. And, as further evidence of its superiority over tests, THE RAT also includes many questions for which there is more than one correct answer.

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