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Testing the Limit

by Angela Lee, staff reporter

“Colleges should not judge you based on your SAT scores because a lot of people, like myself, are bad test takers. They can be an A+ student but fail every test they take, because of nerves or anxiety,” junior Kailey Bosyk said. Photo attributions to Angela Lee.
“Colleges should not judge you based on your SAT scores because a lot of people, like myself, are bad test takers. They can be an A+ student but fail every test they take, because of nerves or anxiety,” junior Kailey Bosyk said. Photo attributions to Angela Lee.

The SATs are a nationwide college acceptance exam for juniors and seniors in high school alike, determining the acceptance or the denial of a student applying for their school based on how well they do on one test that tests Critical Reading, Math, and Writing.

Recently, colleges have been turning to a ‘test optional’ movement, a movement that no longer requires students to turn in their SAT or ACT scores. This action sparked a growing debate over whether or not colleges should require standardized testing from their upcoming students.

While some disapprove, the growing popularity and overall happiness of the students in the colleges that don’t require the SAT or ACT can’t be denied. In some cases, colleges are doing better than they were with the standardized testing, now that they don’t require them.It’s hard to tell which option is better.

“Colleges should not judge you based on your SAT scores because a lot of people, like myself, are bad test takers. They can be an A+ student but fail every test they take, because of nerves or anxiety,” junior Kailey Bosyk said.

The SAT is a college entrance exam that favors the privileged by allowing them to take extra classes to prepare for the SAT, leaving not-so-privileged people from low-income families at a disadvantage and, as a result, struggling to scrape up some points.

Colleges should not judge students on their SAT scores. The SAT is less like a test on intelligence each and every year, and more on whether or not the student knows the tricks around each equation or where to look for their answer in a reading passage in a set amount of time.

It is a test that is presented to students as a make-or-break deal, but in any case, a student’s future should not and will not be determined by a number on a sheet of paper.

There’s more to intelligence than what you remember learning in class, but under a student’s constant pressure-filled reminders from friends, family, and school staff, the stress that builds up within that student may make them think their life is going to be ruined if they don’t pass this test.

That way of thinking builds panic, frustration, and overall unhappiness as the test date approaches and the student begins ‘crunch time’, hastily completing practice tests and worrying about the future they believe will fail if they don’t pass.

“Schools need to be standardized, they can’t be just a letter grade. Colleges need to see how the students are doing on these tests, and a letter grade won’t provide that,” college readiness teacher Mr Van Deurs said.

The SAT, however, mainly serves as a way to tell which students in which states are doing well and which still need to improve.

Without an admissions test,  colleges have no way to tell if a student is a hard worker or a slacker, and at the same time, a student applying for a college does not know whether a college is top-notch or filled with depressed, struggling students.

The timed sections come from a hope of fairness within the people who administer it. If time wasn’t a necessity while students take the test, one student might finish it in eight hours and pass, while another student may finish in three hours and fail.

While some may say the eight hour student passed because they had more time to do his or her sections, there is really no way to tell. Others may argue that, just like the eight hour student, the student who completed their test in three hours might not have had enough time. This assumption, however, cannot be proven either.

Colleges should not continue requiring students to take the SAT and then judging the students based on a number. Intelligence is not how much time one spends in a classroom, it is what a student does in face of a difficult situation.

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    RosemaryDec 3, 2015 at 9:50 am

    Thank you for the great article on SAT test requirements. It’s an eye opener for me as a parent.

    Reply