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SAT Flunking Out MAG
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.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
This article has 14 comments.
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If it must be done, it must be done well.
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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 SAT, as being too short, and too easy to prepare for. However, I do se a shorcome from your opinion that you can take the SAT only once (You could take the SAT as many times you want)
"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.
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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.