SAT Flunking Out This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

     Three hours and 45 minutes - that’s it. That’s how much time you have to determine how your life will turn out. If that isn’t bad enough, you also have the constant pressure to do well. The SATs have proven to be a biased and possibly unnecessary test.

“The SAT I is validated for just one purpose: predicting first-year college grades. It does not do even this very well. Test makers acknowledge that high school grade-point average (GPA) or class rank are the best predictors of first-year grades, despite the huge variation among high schools,” claims the Fair Test organization.

Fair Test asserts that students spend more than $100 million on SAT prep materials every year. Some SAT prep courses cost $800 and have been proven to raise students’ scores by 100 points or more, but this will effect only those who can afford classes. The score of a student from a low-income family might be much lower even if they are as good or better students, because they can’t afford to take the prep course. This brings me to my next point.

“The number of test-takers also was down by about 9,600 students, to 1.47 million. Participation rates particularly fell among students who said they were low income. Meanwhile, more students reported family incomes of $80,000 or more,” according to USA Today. Fair Test also reports that the test (as well as the PSAT) has been proven to be in some ways harder for women. Since boys usually score better on the PSAT, fewer females show up for the SAT.

But minorities suffer the most from the biased tests. Fair Test explains that the SAT’s time limit places an “unfair burden” on those students whose primary language is something other than English.

What can be done? Some colleges and universities (400 of them) do not use SAT or ACT scores for a large number of their applicants. “Most four-year colleges accept more than 75 percent of their applicants and have limited or no real need for the SAT as an admissions tool,” Fair Test claims.

In Texas, if you finish in the top 10 percent of your high school class, you don’t need to submit a SAT or ACT. On the other hand, SAT scores can be helpful. Someone who gets only decent grades but tries hard might not get into the school he wants, but if he does well on the SAT, that could change. The SAT is also helpful since it shows colleges your writing ability.

I think the best solution is what Texas does, because it shows the colleges that you can handle hard work without a meaningless test that doesn’t necessarily prove your intelligence. Maybe some day everyone will realize that the SAT is pointless and proves nothing, but not before I have to take it.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.

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This article has 12 comments. Post your own now!

ElsyMThis teenager is a 'regular' and has contributed a lot of work, comments and/or forum posts, and has received many votes and high ratings over a long period of time. This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 28, 2015 at 11:59 pm
I agree that standardized tests are very overrated. I understand why SATs and ACTs are important, but they aren't the best indicators of a student's ability and creativity.
LeilaGarner said...
Nov. 28, 2013 at 11:53 pm
That is known that money makes people autonomous. But how to act if someone has no cash? The only one way is to receive the loans or bank loan.
LeannaGRAY said...
Oct. 15, 2013 at 3:01 pm
Make your own life time more simple take the loans and everything you require.
SpyceChik said...
Jan. 11, 2013 at 12:08 pm
Hmmm..I find this topic quite controversial and I think you did a good job of defending your opinion but it could use a little more work...good job though :)
BALLLatisha25 said...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 11:41 pm
Make your own life more easy take the business loans and everything you want.
Ken W. said...
Jul. 11, 2012 at 1:11 pm

The SAT and the ACT are basically the same thing, no major difference between them. The best way to study for them is to just do a lot of practice, and do well in school. There is no reason why one is better and the other is worse. Both quizzes on basically the same material.

As far as what could be done, I think that SAT is generally OK for most students, but for students with special needs, I think there should be more varied versions of the test.

I support your opinion of the... (more »)

starfighter77 said...
May 20, 2011 at 8:28 am
You're right! It's the ACT that's going to solve everything not the SAT. Because the ACt focuses just on academics without having to worry about other things
pillow said...
Apr. 23, 2011 at 9:26 pm

"In Texas, if you finish in the top 10 percent of your high school class, you don’t need to submit a SAT or ACT."

Incorrect. Maybe there might be a handful, but most of the schools require it.

ReflectionsofYou said...
Dec. 8, 2009 at 11:12 am
If we're going to measure intelligence then maybe we should just take IQ test...
I've never heard of that test having traps like the college admissions tests do. It probably would have saved my a couple hours sleep the night before the test.
Gray said...
Oct. 21, 2009 at 10:20 pm
This article couldn't be more wrong. First off, the author seems to be assuming someoe who is a hard worker is a good student. Maybe this is true at the high school level, but in college, where difficult classes are actually taught, intelligence is nessecary. Many classes are easy enough so that any fool can get an "A". I'm sure everyone knows people who can memrize facts, but understand little. These are the kinds of people colleges will get when they in fact want intresting... (more »)
KimWrites said...
Mar. 19, 2009 at 7:56 pm
The SATs' impact on admission is diminishing. Tons of colleges are SAT optional (yes, even highly rated colleges, like Bowdoin). But even for colleges that require SAT/ACTs, it is only one small factor of an application. They do not measure intelligence, but they do measure how you can mesh some basic concepts together, and go very very quickly in short period of time.
girl said...
Dec. 12, 2008 at 4:33 am
this is perfect...and informative
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