What colleges should judge applicants on

SAT, SAT II, and ACT scores shouldn’t be the deciding factor when colleges are accepting new applicants. These tests aren’t necessarily indicative of a student’s intelligence and should be optional.

To start, these tests are biased. Studies show that on average the tests favor Caucasians, native English speakers, males, private school attendees, students whose families have a higher socioeconomic status, and students without any kind of physical or mental disability. The tests are unfair to students who don’t fall into these categories.

The tests also have become utterly corrupt in the course of the past decade. The College Board website makes millions running the largest net archive of student testing information. They sell books and tutoring services to help students study, which can cost students hundreds of dollars. Students are charged obscene amounts by College Board to take all of their various tests, which have become a necessity to pay in this day and age.

Also, College Board claims that its purpose is to “expand access to higher education.” But by weeding out students who can’t afford to take the tests they offer, let alone do well without the expensive help of a tutor or study books, College Board is in fact making it harder and more expensive for students to achieve their post-high school goals.

The SAT doesn’t measure intelligence, it measures how well students take the SAT and how well they perform in testing situations. The idea that the tests are “standardized” is a joke. How can you possibly standardize the physical and emotional state of the individual, the testing location, and the distracting life events that could occur around the time of the test?

You can’t. Yet we live in a society that rejects well-qualified students from their top college because a loved one died the day before, or because they just went through a breakup, or because they sprained their ankle on the way to the testing location and couldn’t afford to reschedule.

What colleges should do instead is weigh the applicants based on interviews, grades, class selection, teacher recommendations, and extra-curriculars. The test scores should merely be a supplement to round out the image of the applicant, and not serve as the code on which to judge the type of personality, leadership, and creativity the applicant will bring to the campus.


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