The SAT and ACT are standard tests for the admittance of students into colleges throughout the nation. American high schoolers all receive uniform questions, no matter their class, race, background, or location. Since these exams are standardized and similar each year, students may prepare in advance for these exams by taking classes. These standardized tests should not play a significant role in the college admissions process because they do not truly determine a student’s intelligence and are disadvantageous for underprivileged students.
The SAT does not accurately display the knowledge of high school students. Seventeen-year-old students are expected to know a wide range a words that may be neither necessary for their daily vocabulary nor taught in their schools’ vocabulary books. The SAT is supposed to test the knowledge of students, but it is difficult for a child to know something he was never taught. Though the tests have attempted to move more toward school curriculum, it is impossible for students to truly reflect their knowledge based on black and white multiple choice questions.
Students spend four years of their lives trying to earn decent grades. A student’s report card, in comparison to the SAT, shows not only a student’s knowledge based on what he or she has learned but also his or her work ethic and ability to challenge him/herself. The SAT does not show the extra hours that a student puts into doing his homework or seeing his teachers after school for extra help. The ACT does not reflect the algebra test that a student studies for a week in advance. The score on the SAT is a number, but this number can determine a child’s entire future.
A student’s score on the SAT can be greatly increased by taking a SAT preparation course. Fortunate students may pay hundreds of dollars to train for a test that can determine which college they attend, in turn affecting their careers and ultimately the rest of their lives. SAT preparation courses are quite costly, and many students can not afford to take them. These less fortunate students may go into the test not knowing what to expect or what type of questions they will see.
Additionally, the charge of the actual test itself creates a disadvantage for the less fortunate. Those who are able to retake the test often score higher the second or third time they take it. Some truly fortunate kids are able to take the test even more times than that! Sure, fee waivers allow some students to take the SAT or ACT without paying, but it’s hardly a task that can be free over and over. The SAT score will likely be far greater for a student in a well-to-do family.
The SAT and ACT should not play an essential role in the college admissions process because they do not accurately display a student’s knowledge and are only propitious for the privileged. Standardized tests do not properly examine what a student has learned. It’s easy for some to play this system and difficult for others to catch up, so these tests can’t be a true reflection of what a student does or does not know. The SAT and ACT are not the best way to determine if a student should be granted admission into college or not.