We have an tag. Although it has no tag wiki, it's clearly for questions relating to the SATs. I'm afraid, however, that this doesn't tell us very much about the actual questions, and in several cases it's the only tag on a question.

I think that it's an example of what Jeff Atwood calls a "meta tag":

If the tag can’t work as the only tag on a question, it’s probably a meta-tag.

That seems to apply here. What's more, most of the questions tagged this way aren't particularly high quality. I'm not sure it's a helpful tag to browse through.

Should we get rid of this tag? Or does it serve a purpose?

1 Answer 1


I don't see the need to have a tag tied to a specific exam like the SAT. However, we do seem to get a lot of questions asking for an explanation about a question found in a practice exam for some standardized English test. I wonder if it wouldn't be worth have an tag, for questions inspired by such practice exams, where the O.P. can't understand the answer provided in the answer key. I don't mind those questions being asked here, but I've always thought it would be best if the OPs who ask such questions would just declare this is from a practice exam, rather than present it like they found it in a newspaper article or something.

Now, if I can only figure out how to delete unwanted tags, or rename a tag...

  • The "merge tag" page for moderators also works for renaming tags. You merge an old tag into a new empty tag. I think deleting tags has to be done by hand, but SE employees can "burninate" a tag (remove it from the site entirely without bumping any questions, and prevent it from ever being used again).
    – user230
    Aug 19, 2014 at 8:56
  • I agree the more generic tag exam-question would be better, to the extent we need anything like that at all. But I must say I've been surprised how often we get questions on ELL asking for clarification of some puzzling "exam question" where it turns out that the problem lies with incompetent (or non-fluent) test setters, rather than the learners who can't understand what answer is "correct" and why. Aug 19, 2014 at 18:23
  • @Fumble - I agree wholeheartedly. Of course, that's one of the reasons I'd welcome such questions on ELL: when the answer is easy to the non-native, we can explain it; when the "answer" doesn't align with everyday usage, we can point that out as well.
    – J.R. Mod
    Aug 19, 2014 at 21:43
  • I can just about get my head around the idea that exam-question could be a useful tag on ELL (as opposed to being one of those justly-vilified meta-tags). But I could easily be convinced it's completely worthless, since the only context I can see where it makes any difference is when it's a bad exam question. Aug 19, 2014 at 22:06
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    @Fumble - Perhaps, but it may be very hard for an English learner to know if it's a good or bad question unless/until they ask. I think those bad questions make for more interesting discussions among the regulars, but, if a learner doesn't understand, that's what we are here to help with.
    – J.R. Mod
    Aug 19, 2014 at 22:10
  • New meta. I wonder if I'm missing something. Could you explain the usefulness of the tag to me? :)
    – M.A.R.
    Nov 6, 2015 at 18:38

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