People are not Standard: Lowering the SAT/ACT Impact

Angel Benjamin, Staff Writer

Are you planning to attend college after you graduate?

If so, then you are already familiar with the standardized test requirement for college applications. From the day we enter middle school, students are told how important the SAT and ACT tests are to our future. We are told that it is highly important to achieve a good score on these tests to get into a good college.

Some colleges and universities weigh one’s standardized test scores more heavily than other parts of the application. The scores from these assessments are also used to measure a student’s college readiness, which predicts their future academic success. The SAT in particular is used for predicting what a student is capable of learning in the future, and both the ACT and the SAT are used for deciding how much money should be given to a student through scholarships. However, these assessments are not a truly authentic way to evaluate students, and shouldn’t be considered an important factor in college admissions.

According to Chris Streetman’s piece, “Abolishing the ACT and SAT” from McKendree University, these standardized tests “are not necessarily the best or most accurate measurements of student achievement.”
One aspect of standardized testing, including the SAT and ACT, is the testing environment. The testing environments may be vastly different from state to state, or even from school to school, as not all high schools and administration that overlook the testing are the same. A poorly run test or testing environment can have a substantially negative effect on a test-taker. A site that is not well-prepared can have distractions that get in the way of the student’s test taking. This will create a wedge in test takers’ focus, limiting them from attaining the score they could have achieved if there weren’t any interruptions.

Conversely, a well-run testing site can provide quietness and a still environment for the test takers to have, so they can concentrate on the assessments.

SAT and ACT scores should be considered less prominently in the college application process due to their lack of consistency. Instead, colleges and universities should depend more heavily on the grade point average of the student, the academic rigor of their classes, and letters of recommendation. This criteria provides a more balanced profile of a student, and provides all students an opportunity to attend the school of their choice to receive a higher education.