Parents, educators, students and college admissions professionals all intimately understand the financial, emotional and intellectual burden of the SAT/ACT—tests that are not only an integral part of the college admissions process for most American students, but also can be a rite of passage for teenagers in the United States. Even as adults, few of us forget our score, or how we felt about what it took to earn it.
The Test & the Art of Thinking traces the history and evolution of the SAT/ACT as a major player on the pathway to higher education in America, and it documents its current power in our culture. In so doing, it strives to support individuals who are embarking on the road to college, by examining what the SAT/ACT measures and means, and asking a range of educational leaders, admissions professionals and stakeholders in the test—from tutors to parents to test designers—to grapple with the test’s use, ramifications and future.
Michael Arlen Davis
Vice President of Canobie Films, Director/Producer of "The Test & The Art of Thinking"
Michael Arlen Davis was a Producer on Canobie Films' production “Hats Off.” He assisted Director/Producer Jyll Johnstone on Canobie Films' "Martha And Ethel," and is the Director/Producer of "The Test & The Art of Thinking."
President of Canobie Films and Producer of "The Test & the Art of Thinking"
Jyll’s three previous documentaries celebrate often-overlooked women in the realm of culture and the arts. "Martha & Ethel", "Throwing Curves", and "Hats Off" have been featured at the Sundance Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival and the film festivals of Palm Springs, Toronto, San Francisco, Bologna, London and Hong Kong, as well as a variety of museums.
Currently, Jyll is directing a documentary film called "Queen of Belvedere” about an aged el Salvadoran housekeeper laboring in the multi-million dollar homes of an affluent San Francisco suburb. She is also directing a modernistic docuseries for TV about the life, work, and struggles of female NYC artist Libby Schoettle, called “BeMused”. "Queen of Belvedere” and “BeMused” are slated for 2018/9 releases.
Co-Producer The Test & the Art of Thinking
Sherry Daniel is an independent documentary filmmaker and producer based in San Francisco with more than 25 years’ experience in film, television, commercials and new media. She began her film career working on documentaries for National Geographic, PBS, and Pearl Jam before transitioning to creative direction and brand development. Daniel is currently directing a new documentary about an innovative educator in the Boston metropolitan area. She holds a B.A. from Brown University.
From Director/Producer, Michael Arlen Davis:
We were motivated to embark upon this project while watching our two daughters engage with the SAT/ACT college admissions exams.
Our eldest had been a diligent student throughout her high school career, but whose experience on this form of testing was quite unexpected.
When the time came for our youngest to start, we thought as parents we would attempt to prepare her ourselves.
We started taking practice SAT sections, and couldn’t help but notice the unusual framework and tenor of the test. This prompted conversations with neighbors, friends and local educational professionals. We began exploring the ‘testing’ literature, which further confirmed that our curiosity had not been in vain, nor in isolation.
We found this to be a subject of curiosity, still somewhat unexplored in a documentary format, and there was information to be shared that would be useful to many. We began with interviews of local students, test prep professionals and high school guidance counselors, all with a keen sense of discovery. Our goal was to communicate context about the nature and purpose of these exams, from a wide point of view, so that anyone could understand that they were not alone in this process, in their perception or their experience.
As our information developed, testing experts, psychometricians, authors and college admissions officers became more open to interviews and participation.
Whereas the students, their parents and test prep tutors provide a real-time perspective on the test, the academic professionals convey an overarching portrayal of a bigger picture, and viewed over a longer time frame.
We believe the film gives common voice to many of the issues that the tests engender and we hope it facilitates broad and varied conversation.
Michael Arlen Davis
CURRENT AND UPCOMING SCREENINGS
|Screening Start||Theater/Presenter||Location Name||City||State||Event Link|
|02/19/19 - 07:00 PM||Pikesville High School||Pikesville High School - 7621 Labyrinth Road||Baltimore||Maryland||DETAILS|
|02/28/19 - 06:30 PM||Mount Madonna School||Morgan Hill Community Playhouse - 17090 Monterey Road, Morgan Hill, CA||Morgan Hill||California||DETAILS|
|03/05/19 - 07:30 PM||Landmark on Main Street||Landmark on Main Street - Jeanne Rimsky Theater - 232 Main Street||Port Washington||New York||DETAILS|
|03/14/19 - 07:30 PM||Deerfield Parent Network||Deerfield High School - 1959 Waukegan Road, Deerfield, IL||Deerfield||Illinois||DETAILS|
|03/27/19 - 07:00 PM||Carbondale Community High School||The Varsity Center - 1301 E Walnut Street||Carbondale||Illinois||DETAILS|
|04/18/19 - 07:00 PM||Sandown Public Library||Sandown Public Library||Sandown||New Hampshire||DETAILS|
|04/24/19 - 07:00 PM||Marin Waldorf School||Miller Creek Middle School||San Rafael||California||DETAILS|
|Screening Start||Theater/Presenter||Location Name||City||State||Event Link|
|03/16/18 - 07:30 PM||SLO Film Fest||Downtown Cinemas 888 Marsh Street||San Luis Obispo||California||DETAILS|
|04/08/18 - 08:30 PM||GPACAC/MOACAC Annual Conference||Private Screening||Kansas City||Missouri||DETAILS|
|04/20/18 - 12:00 PM||Harvard Graduate School of Education Office of Student Affairs||Private Screening||Cambridge||Massachusetts||DETAILS|
|04/27/18 - 02:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||The Landmark at 57 West||New York||New York||DETAILS|
|05/02/18 - 01:00 PM||Gateway Film Center||Gateway Film Center||Columbus||Ohio||DETAILS|
|05/02/18 - 07:00 PM||USC School of Cinematic Arts||Ray Stark Family Theatre||Los Angeles||California||DETAILS|
|05/04/18 - 12:00 PM||Jacob Burns Film Center||Jacob Burns Film Center||Pleasantville||New York||DETAILS|
|05/04/18 - 02:30 PM||Laemmle Theaters||Laemmle Music Hall Theater||Beverly Hills||California||DETAILS|
|05/07/18 - 07:00 PM||Merrill Theatres||Palace 9 Cinema||Burlington||Vermont||DETAILS|
|05/08/18 - 07:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||Landmark Chez Artiste||Denver||Colorado||DETAILS|
|05/08/18 - 07:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||Landmark Lagoon||Minneapolis||Minnesota||DETAILS|
|05/08/18 - 07:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||Landmark Aquarius||Palo Alto||California||DETAILS|
|05/09/18 - 07:30 PM||Cinema Arts Center||Cinema Arts Center||Huntington||New York||DETAILS|
|05/10/18 - 07:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||Landmark Opera Plaza||San Francisco||California||DETAILS|
|05/15/18 - 07:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||Landmark Shattuck||Berkeley||California||DETAILS|
|05/16/18 - 07:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||Landmark Magnolia||Dallas||Texas||DETAILS|
|05/18/18 - 01:00 PM||Coolidge Corner Theatre Foundation||Coolidge Corner Theatre||Brookline||Massachusetts||DETAILS|
|05/21/18 - 07:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||Midtown Art Cinema||Atlanta||Georgia||DETAILS|
|05/29/18 - 07:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||Landmark Bethesda Row||Bethesda||Maryland||DETAILS|
|05/29/18 - 07:00 PM||Landmark Theatres||Landmark E Street Cinema||Washington||D.C.||DETAILS|
|06/06/18 - 10:30 AM||NEACAC and NYSACAC Super Conference, Coming Together Conference||Private Screening||Poughkeepsie||New York||DETAILS|
|06/06/18 - 10:30 AM||NYSACAC, NEACAC, & Marist College||Nelly Goletti Theatre; Marist 2018 Super Conference||Poughkeepsie||New York||DETAILS|
|06/07/18 - 05:00 PM||Living Room Theater||Living Room Theater - Boca Raton||Boca Raton||Florida||DETAILS|
|06/07/18 - 07:00 PM||Living Room Theaters||Living Room Theater - Portland||Portland||Oregon||DETAILS|
|06/15/18 - 01:00 PM||Castilleja School||Private Screening||Palo Alto||California||DETAILS|
|06/15/18 - 07:00 PM||The Music Hall||The Music Hall||Portsmouth||New Hampshire||DETAILS|
|06/27/18 - 06:30 PM||Nantucket Dreamland Foundation||Nantucket Dreamland Theater||Nantucket||Massachusetts||DETAILS|
|06/30/18 - 07:00 PM||AERO 2018 Conference||Long Island University Post Campus||Brookville||New York||DETAILS|
|07/09/18 - 03:00 PM||Choate Rosemary Hall College Counseling Office||Private Screening||Wallingford||Connecticut||DETAILS|
|07/12/18 - 12:00 PM||Rider University||Private Screening||Lawrenceville||New Jersey||DETAILS|
|07/30/18 - 08:00 AM||University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign||Private Screening||Urbana||Illinois||DETAILS|
|08/08/18 - 10:00 AM||University of Denver||Private Screening||Denver||Colorado||DETAILS|
|08/16/18 - 02:00 PM||Miami University||Private Screening||Oxford||Ohio||DETAILS|
|09/05/18 - 03:00 PM||DocUtah||DocUtah - International Documentary Film Festival (Dixie State Univ. Campus; films will be shown at RedCliffs Cinema 1 and 4)||St. George||Utah||DETAILS|
|09/17/18 - 06:30 PM||REDgen||Nicolet High School Community Room||Glendale||Wisconsin||DETAILS|
|09/28/18 - 06:30 PM||NACAC (National Association for College Admission Counseling )||Private Screening - NACAC 2018 National Conference||Salt Lake City||Utah||DETAILS|
|11/01/18 - 04:00 PM||Worcester Polytechnic Institute||Private Screening - George C. Gordon Library||Worcester||Massachusetts||DETAILS|
|11/01/18 - 06:30 PM||ENRICHri||Brown University Auditorium - 85 Watermark Street||Providence||Rhode Island||DETAILS|
|11/05/18 - 12:45 PM||Young Women's Leadership Academy||Private Screening||San Antonio||Texas||DETAILS|
|11/07/18 - 07:00 PM||Open Door Education||The Gallery @ Villageworks||Acton||Massachusetts||DETAILS|
|11/14/18 - 07:00 PM||DePaul University||Maine South High School Auditorium - 1111 South Dee Road||Park Ridge||Illinois||DETAILS|
|11/16/18 - 08:00 AM||The Awty International School||Private Screening||Houston||Texas||DETAILS|
|11/16/18 - 04:00 PM||The Awty International School||Private Screening||Houston||Texas||DETAILS|
|11/30/18 - 12:00 PM||Ivy Educational Services||Private Screening||Fanwood||New Jersey||DETAILS|
|12/03/18 - 05:30 PM||The Enrollment Management Association||Private Screening||Skillman||New Jersey||DETAILS|
|12/04/18 - 02:00 PM||Marquette University Office of Undergraduate Admissions||Private Screening - David Straz Hall||Milwaukee||Wisconsin||DETAILS|
|12/11/18 - 06:30 PM||DePaul University||Wolcott School Arts & Athletics Center - 1950 W Hubbard Street||Chicago||Illinois||DETAILS|
|12/15/18 - 01:00 PM||Project MOVE & Victory Collegiate High School||Private screening - South Shore Educational Complex||Brooklyn||New York||DETAILS|
|12/18/18 - 06:00 PM||Wood River Community YMCA||Wood River Community YMCA - 101 Saddle Road||Ketchum||Idaho||DETAILS|
|01/18/19 - 01:30 PM||Saint Anselm College||Private Screening||Manchester||New Hampshire||DETAILS|
|01/18/19 - 01:30 PM||Score At The Top Learning Center & Schools||Private Screening||Boca Raton||Florida||DETAILS|
|01/31/19 - 03:40 PM||Augsburg University||Hagfors Center - 700 21st Ave. South||Minneapolis||Minnesota||DETAILS|
|02/03/19 - 08:30 AM||Southern Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers||Private Screening||Baton Rouge||Louisiana||DETAILS|
|02/07/19 - 06:30 PM||mindSHIFT & The University of North Texas College of Education||Private Screening||North Richland Hills||Texas||DETAILS|
|02/07/19 - 06:30 PM||Mount Madonna School||Resource Center for Nonviolence - 612 Ocean Street||Santa Cruz||California||DETAILS|
|02/10/19 - 05:00 PM||Galin Education||Private screening||Middleton||Wisconsin||DETAILS|
|02/13/19 - 06:00 PM||Pathways High School [WILL RE-SCHEDULE DUE TO WEATHER]||Pathways High School - 336 W. Walnut||Milwaukee||Wisconsin||DETAILS|
Santa Cruz Sentinel - Feb 05, 2019
Los Angeles Times - May 03, 2018
Review: ‘The Test and the Art of Thinking’ Is About A) The SAT | Ken Jaworowski
The New York Times - Apr 26, 2018
The Village Voice - Apr 24, 2018
Spreading the Word on Test Optional, Holistic Admissions | Thomas Coakley
Worcester Polytecnic Institute - May 31, 2018
The Test And The Art Of Thinking (Review) | Bobby LePire
Film Threat - May 21, 2018
Steve Cohen, co-author of Getting In: College Admissions in the Digital Age, and currently an op-ed writer and attorney writes: “I hit the cutting room floor, and never made it into Michael Arlen Davis' well-made documentary, "The Test." (It didn't help that I disagreed with the producer-director's POV.) But I thought the other side was worth writing about in this piece.” |
The Hill - May 21, 2018
The Test & The Art Of Thinking | Carol Kaufman Segal
Carol's Culture Corner - May 09, 2018
A Bucket of Supposed Truths at the WSJ about the SAT and ACT | Steven Ma is the International Education Liaison for the California Department of Education and founder of ThinkTank Learning, a global college prep consulting company. He was interviewed for "The Test & the Art of Thinking." In this article, Mr. Ma responds to the March 8th article in the Wall Street Journal by Nathan Kuncel and Paul Sackett: "The Truth About the SAT and ACT”.
Moments with Steven Ma - May 07, 2018
KCRW Radio "Press Play" - May 04, 2018
The Cowards and Heroes of the SAT and ACT | Sara Harberson
- Apr 30, 2018
Film Asks If SAT Tests Fail or Help Students | Esha Sarai
VOA News - Apr 27, 2018
TrustMovies - Apr 24, 2018
In Brief:The Test & The Art of Thinking (2017) | Steve Kopian
unseen films - Apr 24, 2018
Abramorama Acquires Worldwide Rights to The Test & The Art of Thinking | Michael Arlen Davis
Canobie Films - Mar 12, 2018
Variety - Mar 01, 2018
Enter our RESOURCES section to learn more about the SAT/ACT, including the new version (SAT) that debuted in 2016.
See the latest test prep and college admissions news, and submit a question.
Follow the tests' history from their origins as an experimental exam given to 8,000 students in 1926 to its widespread adoption as an admissions tool that has played a curucial role in sorting applicants to America's colleges.
Examine controversies related to validity, fairness, coachability, and security of the test, as well as questions raised about the many ways in which test scores are used.
Learn about the rapidly growing test optional admissions movement, and the recently-implemented use of the SAT or the ACT by states to measure student mastery of the high school curriculum.