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Infamous Sats

In: English and Literature

Submitted By taratamborino
Words 1235
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High school students who are planning on attending college must take a standardized examination to test ones understanding of basic concepts. For those students who want to attend an Ivy league or elite college, the SATs are more than just a test. It is a deciding factor whether one will be accepted or not into a college or university. The scores completely overlook the determination, creativity, and desire of students to try and reach their goal. The SATs are a phony test that does not evaluate ones overall knowledge; they are overstated on their value and lead young students to a lot of pressure and stress. The SAT test is good in theory, but should not be used to measure intelligence. Some claim that the test should be required to test students physically and mentally on how well they perform on tests. Large-scale meta-analyses by researchers at the University of Minnesota have found that “SAT performance is as good of a predictor of overall college grade point average as it is of freshman grade point average” and other researchers have documented that “the SAT predicts life outcomes well beyond the college years including income and occupational achievements” (Lubinksi and Benbow, 1). However, this is not true. How can one test, one score, one meaningless number, indicate how well you will do in life? The SATs should not be a determining factor of whether a student is admitted to a university or not. Taking an SAT test is not for all students. Some people are visual learners and need it to be taught orally to comprehend information. This test is completely bias to those students who are good at test taking. The students targeted, the non-test takers, have a very big disadvantage mainly because its heavily stressed to get a good score for their college applications. As Charles Murray states, “Hence the final reason for getting rid of the SAT: knowing those scores is too dispiriting for those who do poor” (Murray 1).The format of the SATs is also tricky and doesn’t help anyone in the least. First off, there are three sections consisting of math, english and writing. If you aren’t the best at one of the subjects, it makes sense that you would need more time on certain sections. The timing of each section is very short; it comes down to whether you know it or not. Also, the order of the test makes it very hard to stay concentrated. The format bounces between math and english which really causes your mind to race in all different directions. Lastly, there is no science section on the SAT test. While the ACTs do offer a science section, not all colleges and universities accept them. Basically, if you aren’t an English or math person, you quickly need to acquire skills to be able to have some type of familiarity in these two subjects. The environment of the SAT test, both physically and mentally, is very uncomfortable. The test is taking in a normal classroom setting meaning that you are awkwardly really close to other students while taking the test. The amount of disturbances that you see and hear while you are there is unbearable. Imagine taking a test when the boy next to you is popping his gum every ten seconds, or the girl in front of you keeps coughing. Not only are these distractions irritating, but you end up losing your train of thought. The temperature inside the classroom also contributes to how hard it is to stay concentrated. The conditions are usually always disagreeable with what you want, such as it being too hot or too cold. Along with temperature, the timing of the test is also another issue that usually causes problems for students. The test is almost always taken at very early hours. Commonly, it begins at about 7:30 in the morning. Students are exhausted, tired and have nothing on their mind but crawling back into their bed. It lasts for about four hours from beginning to end with two, very short, five minute. Your level of exhaustion has gotten to you and your focus is down the drain by the end of the first section. To conclude, the testing conditions of the SAT test is very poorly made and is a major factor on how well a student does. The SATs give no help with preparation. Trying to prepare for the SAT test is challenging because there is no way to fully organize and arrange your thoughts and knowledge. The test is composed of very complex and complicated questions that do, though, require much preparation and review. While some public schools offer SAT prep for juniors and seniors, the timing of the course usually conflicts with student’s schedules and the classes altogether aren’t truly much help. Many parents pay for their children to take SAT courses outside of school and they buy books or practice tests to try to help. In reality, there are no tricks or shortcuts that a teacher, class, or one-on-one tutor can communicate to guarantee a good score. Stated a different way, there is no approach of avoiding the difficulty of the questions. Also, the information provided on the test is limited since it tests basic concepts and knowledge. Students are expected to have learned all this information from kindergarten through twelfth grade. However, with all the different ways teachers display information, it is nearly impossible to make sure you know everything and are well prepared. The knowledge one student has is completely different than the knowledge another student might have. One standard exam is only useful if the knowledge of all test takers is the same. Education systems have transformed, in my opinion, from having a motive of teaching to having a motive of testing. As Simmone Liberty explains, “The value of actually learning for learning's sake has been lost in the obsession of testing students simply to record grade scores. It is not about enjoying the information in order to retain it anymore” (Libery 2). There is so much pressure on students now to do well on exams that it leads to a lot of stress and tension surrounding their success in life. Grades do not always tell the whole story. For example, supposed a 4.0 GPA student who is on the varsity football team as well as team captain gets a low score on their SATs. This student could potentially not get into the Ivy League college that he or she had expected based on this one test. Now, suppose a very lazy, not well-rounded student, with a lower GPA, gets a much higher score on their SATs. Should that one score determine which student gets into which college? Of course not. There are so many college boards that will not even look at a student’s application if their SAT score does not meet the minimum required. Many talented individuals are turned down because of this irrational decision made by the board. The SAT test should be abolished for its unfairness and lack of ability to truly represent whom a student is. The test does not show any individual contributions the student has made in or outside the classroom; hence the reason it is flawed and completely outdated in value. College entrance criteria should have numerous options, none that should be a standardized test.

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