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A) "Splitting classes by ability" is a marketing ploy - and a bad one at that, since anyone who knows anything at all about education knows that heterogeneous classes work better than homogeneous ones.

For one thing, to split classes by "ability" is meaningless -- since the starting score you earn has less than nothing to do with the final score you'll wind up at. To put someone with a low starting score into a low-scoring class is to create a self-fulfilling prophecy, holding that student back from their full potential.

For another, what do you do with someone who's really good at one section, and not so good at another? Or really good at some PARTS of one section, and not so good at other parts of the very same section? It's ridiculous on the face of it, when you stop to think about it.

But most important, splitting classes by score level cheats everyone of the crucial opportunity to learn from one another, and from the varying types of discourse going on between the instructor and the different individual students.

Clearly, the lower scoring students will profit from seeing the higher-scoring students, and realizing that they, too, can ultimately do the same. What's not so clear, but just as important, is that higher scoring students will benefit from hearing questions asked that they would never have asked -- but that they can profit from hearing the answers to.

Of course, to address everyone's needs properly does take a more skilled, more experienced instructor. Hey, maybe that's why they.. never mind.

By the way, that's not to say that different classes don't have different centers of gravity, as it were. If you want to be among some very high-scoring people, go where there are more of them! We often suggest that, in order to ensure a critical mass of very high scorers in their class, people of ANY starting score who want to be in a class where there will be a greater number of high-scoring students may wish to select the Harvard class location over any other.