The SAT essay exam tested students on their ability to produce a writing simulation, not on their genuine writing abilities. The result is what I call “pseudo-academic BS,” a bizarre and counterproductive style where ten-dollar words like “plethora,” “myriad,” and “quintessential” are sprinkled in, whether the meaning of the sentence demands it or not.
I wonder if smart a$$ responses are the canary in the coalmine? There are other ways. This is what people like Peter Hutton have been advocating.