equal portions of humor, know-how, and common sense, Homer E.
Moyer 64C provides the answers to these and countless
other important questions in his book The Real-World Aptitude
Test, or RAT, (Capital Books, 2001). What began as a half-teasing,
half-earnest effort to prepare his oldest daughter for college
at Emory has now appeared on the Washington Post bestseller
list and sold more than twenty thousand copies. In August, Moyer
was featured on Good Morning, America.
genesis was, when she started looking around at colleges, my
wife and I asked ourselves whether our oldest daughter knew
what she needed to know in order to navigate the real world,
Moyer says. The answer was a resounding no, and
Moyer, a partner at a Washington, D.C. law firm, started spending
nights and weekends compiling the valuable information that
would see her through early adulthood. His daughter, Bronwen
Newcott 99C, had graduated from Emory, completed graduate
school, and gotten married by the time he finished.
began with the basicscars, cooking, money managementand
then added sections on esoteric topics such as ballroom dancing,
cards and gambling, and the art of conversation. The test
is scored like the SAT, although the lions share of the
book is devoted to the answers, including extensive lists of
secondary reading and handy Web sites.
is proving a popular bedside-table reference book for college
students and parents alike. Most people who buy the book
end up realizing there are things in it they cant answer,
Moyer says. The truth is, none of us would get [perfect]
800s on this test, and thats made it a lot of fun.
provided ranges from the fairly sophisticated, such as a detailed
description of compound interest, to more basic but critical
advice. For example, in the lengthy section on Rotten
Food, Moyer suggests: There are several indicators
that food in the refrigerator has gone bad; many are not particularly
scientific. For example, if your refrigerator smells as though
something in it is rotten, or something in it may have died,
it probably contains food that has gone bad. . . . Cooking food
that has gone bad will not make it okay.P.P.P.