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Unfair Standardized Test

Casey Tinney

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For decades the SAT has been used to show colleges a student’s readiness for college. However, the validity of the test has long been questioned, and the test itself has even been changed several times to improve the accuracy of its score. Colleges have even started allowing students to not list their test scores due to its inaccuracy. The only question that remains, is how long before the SAT is rendered completely useless?

While many claim that the SAT isn’t a required test, many colleges won’t even consider a student without an SAT score; leaving students and their families no choice but to pay the bill to the testing company. Registering for the SAT costs approximately $50, and this fee is just to sit and take the test. What many forget is the cost of all the SAT prep courses and books, and maybe even a tutor for some students, all for one test. Once the test is taken students are charged yet again by the testing company to send their scores to the colleges they are applying to. Not to mention that the company sometimes takes weeks to send the scores, but don’t worry, you can pay extra fees to get them there in two days. Once the test has finally been taken and scores have been received, most students are pressured to take the test again to improve their score, adding another $50 plus out of families pockets and into the testing company’s. Many families struggle to pay for college to begin with, not including the cost to get their students accepted.

All of these expenses for the SAT are a result of the importance placed on the test by high schools and colleges. The SAT is only one of hundreds of tests students will take in their lifetime, why does this one have so much more importance placed upon it? A bad SAT score can make or break an acceptance decision and can significantly impact scholarship money awarded. One test shouldn’t impact a student’s future. Colleges should instead focus on a student’s GPA and the difficulty of classes they are taking as opposed to the score of a single test.

The SAT’s purpose is to put all students on a level playing field, but this is impossible because there is a different form of SAT every month. While this is necessary to prevent cheating on the test, it makes it impossible to compare scores. The SAT is also centered around the basic concepts of algebra, which can make it difficult for students in higher level math to recall the concepts used only in the early levels of algebra.

While the SAT is a good idea in theory, it is impossible to make a test that equally represents all students in the United States. Focus should instead be put on preparing students for college through their regular classes instead of wasting time going over concepts that will only be used on the SAT.

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The student news site of C. Milton Wright High School
Unfair Standardized Test