The English of Students.
"The scheme adopted by the commission of New England colleges was intended to encourage a taste for good reading by requiring the reading of good books; to induce boys to learn to write clearly and concisely, methodizing their knowledge at short notice, and to suggest to candidates obvious criticisms on their style by setting exercises in the correction of bad English. The essay, for the writing of which an hour is allowed, was meant to test the student's knowledge of the books read, and at the same time to test his ability to compose.
"It has been found impossible to administer the examinations so as to make the former of these tests amount to anything, and the weight of the examination has therefore come on the composition as a composition, rather than as an evidence of intimate acquaintance with a piece of literature, and on the correction of bad English. The latter exercise counts for one third of the examination-a disproportionately large amount.
"A reform in admission requirements is necessary-a reform which shall effect the purposes which the devisers of the present requirements had in mind. In some way subsidiary reading, in connection with the required books, should be encouraged. No doubt the setting of alternative questions as a part of the examination would help intelligent and ambitious, teachers to improve the English work in their schools."