SAT Tests In Serious Need of Revisions

Liz Johnson

Every high school student goes through the same thing stressing over college entrance exams where their scores could make or break their future.  The college process should be an exciting time for high school students, but instead the process is filled with anxiety, stress, and nervousness about being accepted into respectable universities.  High school students across the country go through all the same college processes like keeping their grades up, being involved in as many extracurricular activities as possible, and cramming for entrance exams like the SAT and ACT’s.  But are these exams really worth it?  The answer is no. The SAT and ACT exams are not IQ tests, and do not measure a persons intelligence, but rather predict an incoming freshman’s grades for their first year of college.  The college entrance exams should not have as much influence as they currently do towards a student’s likelihood of getting into schools because the exams are a flawed system and will not accurately predict how well students will do in their first year of college, and not to mention they can sometimes ruin a student’s chances of getting into college.

The SAT exam is not a test of one’s intelligence like most people think, but rather a predictor of how well a student will perform in their first year of college.  It is necessary because its a common yardstick for colleges to assess how well a student will do in college, because the straight A’s a student received at one high school, may only earn them B’s at another high school.  However, there are better ways to assess how well a student can do in college, like advanced placement exams students take accompanied with their AP classes.

The SAT test is a grueling four hour long process that consists of a math section, a critical reading section, and a brief twenty five minute essay section.  The math section of the exam only goes up to the Algebra II level, a class most students take during their sophomore and junior years of high school.  A student who is in advanced math classes and does not perform well on the math section can have their scores ruined because they are not being tested on what they are currently learning, nor do they have the ability to prove they can handle college level math courses because they are tested on subjects from their early high school years which become hard to recall.

Alongside, the essay section does not prove a student is an inquisitive writer, and the twenty five minutes does not give students the ability to develop a clear and concise argument.  A better predictor of students’ writing ability would be their admissions essay that they write after their junior year.  The structure of the SAT is extremely flawed, because the sections of the test do not have an accurate portrayal of a students ability to perform well in certain subject areas because of the time limits on the test, and the subject matters of the tests are restricted.

Worst of all, the SAT can actually be the downfall of a student’s application when trying to get into a college if they receive poor test scores.  Studies show that 95% of colleges accept most students that apply, and the other 5% are top ranked and often ivy-league schools like Harvard University in Cambridge Massachusetts, and Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut.  Most colleges first look at student’s academic achievement throughout their high school career like their grades, class rank, and what levels and types of courses that were tackled throughout high school.  They will then look at non-academic profiles like extra curricular activities and acts of citizenship.  Colleges may reject a student if they scored poorly on the SATs, despite the fact they potentially earned a fair acceptance to the college of their choice by tackling a multitude of advanced courses, as well as claiming a prodigious list of extracurricular activities.  A student should not be rejected from a college because of low test scores, because some students are simply not commendable test takers.  This fault in the SAT exam is harsh and, frankly, stupid.  A future without the SATs would make the college process much more exciting for high school students everywhere, and would no longer be a factor that increases the already high stress and anxiety level of high school students scrambling to get their applications done.

The college entrance exams should not have as much as of an effect on college admissions because the exams are a flawed system, and will not accurately predict how well students will do in their first year of college, and the exams can ruin a student’s chance of getting into college.  The SAT exam and other college entrance exams need to be revised before the exams can have as much weight as they do in admitting applicants into colleges.