You may have heard the news that high schoolers will have to take the SATs if they plan to attend college. The temporary break from standardized tests is over.

The New York Times recently posted an interactive test featuring a few questions from the reading and writing section of the SATs. If you haven’t needed to take a standardized test for the past twenty to sixty years, you could try taking it, or you can just hit yourself over the head with a large plumber’s wrench.

We’re not saying you have to do that; you’re an adult who doesn’t have to do anything you don’t want to do. Certainly, you don’t have to retake the SATs. Even if your child is currently applying to college, there’s simply no reason you also have to take the test that was the bane of your existence as a teen. You also don’t have to hit yourself in the face with a big steel wrench.

It all depends on your mood. If you’re thinking, “How bad could it be?” Let me assure you, taking the SATs is about as fun as getting clobbered—I mean absolutely pummeled—by a red-and-black RIDGID-brand Heavy-Duty Straight Pipe Wrench.

Recently, I applied for a tutoring position to help high schoolers with their English and Math homework. At the time of my interview, I was unaware that the job I had applied for was SAT prep and that I, at age thirty-seven, would have to take the SATs again to prove I was worthy of teaching the test to young people. Of course, I did better than I did as a fifteen-year-old. I am, believe it or not, a slightly better reader now.

Unfortunately, sitting in the room, nervous that my future was on the line—this time because I might lose a potential source of income rather than lose a chance to attend Yale or Vassar—I relived that old familiar test-taking trauma. Trauma that was equivalent to the blunt-force trauma one could expect from someone taking a big fat swing of a plumber’s wrench at your head.

Here are some sample questions I pulled from

1. “Ghosts of the Old Year” is an early 1900s poem by James Weldon Johnson. In the poem, the speaker describes experiencing an ongoing cycle of anticipation followed by regretful reflection. Which quotation from “Ghosts of the Old Year” most effectively illustrates the claim?

A. “The snow has ceased its fluttering flight, / The wind sunk to a whisper light, / An ominous stillness fills the night, / A pause—a hush.”

B. “And so the years go swiftly by, / Each, coming, brings ambitions high, / And each, departing, leaves a sigh / Linked to the past.”

C. “What does this brazen tongue declare, / That falling on the midnight air / Brings to my heart a sense of care / Akin to fright?”

D. “Wherefore I should take the test? / An adult I be, who’d like to rest, / So I shall, on bed or bench, / Please hit me in the head with a wrench.”

2. Read the following first few lines of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “Kubla Khan” :

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

The words “did … decree” most closely mean:

A. ordered to build

B. said

C. I don’t care, hit me with the wrench

D. none of the above (wrench, please)

3. A heavy-duty cast iron pipe wrench or plumber’s wrench with a 1-1/2" jaw capacity is commonly used for which of the following?

A. bludgeoning

B. bashing

C. comically bonking a friend in the face (a la the Three Stooges) to keep them from wasting any more time on a practice SAT

D. the gripping, loosening, or tightening of steel pipes

Congratulations! You made it to the end of the sample questions. I hope you enjoy tonight’s anxiety dream about not being prepared for a test in high school. You would get a much better night’s sleep if you had tried the other option.