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Why the SATS Should Be Eradicated

Silas Davison, Maroon Tribune Reporter

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The SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test) is a standardized test used by colleges to gage the intelligence of the hoards of students that apply each year. The problem with the SAT is that it can only measure a fraction of the test taker’s ability.

Faculty and parents push the false reality that a individual who does well on the SAT is a smart person. Because of this, teens have tremendous anxiety about doing well on a single test. The reality is that the SAT is an outdated, inaccurate and unfair measure of a student’s ability and should be abolished. For this reason colleges need to find another way of assessing its future students.

Many of my friends who are artists and really smart kids (in the sense of street smarts) and character did quite poorly on the SAT. Does this mean that they are dumb people? No, not at all. It just means that the skills they use everyday are not the skills measured by the  SAT. What is valued by the SAT is the ability to solve mathematical problems and the use of proper grammar. Is one set of skills more valuable than the other? I don’t think so, but the College Board would disagree.

Another reason the SAT should be discontinued is because it makes schools cater to the test. According to the ASCD (Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) ¨Educators are experiencing almost relentless pressure to show their effectiveness. Unfortunately, the chief indicator by which most communities judge a school staff’s success is student performance on standardized achievement tests.” This is bad because creativity is the key ingredient to solving problems. If everyone thought the same, then coming up with something new would be all but impossible.

Finally, the SAT was created with the intention of leveling the gap between the rich and the poor. However, this is no longer the case. The rich can afford tutors and other assistance to help their chances of doing well on the test, yet the poor, like always, are left in the dust to struggle. According to The Atlantic ¨many schools don’t have enough money to buy books.¨ This is bad because the standardized test tests the knowledge taught in these books. The Atlantic article further states,¨As I learned in the course of my investigation, they are based on specific knowledge contained in specific sets of books: the textbooks created by the test makers.¨ So the rich can afford books and the poor cannot. Therefore, the rich do well on the tests and the poor do not.

Many educators like the SAT because it gives the system an easy way to rank schools and gives teachers a simple curriculum that they can teach. According to Columbia University ¨Standardized testing gives teachers guidance to help them determine what to teach students and when to teach it. The net result is less wasted instructional time and a simplified way of timeline management.¨ Yet in reality the test is a poor indicator of the diverse intelligence that students possess. It is for this reason that the test is obsolete.

The solution is simple: Don’t judge the intelligence of a kid based of a single test. Instead colleges should sit down with potential students and interview them. You can learn so much more from a person by simply talking to them than you ever could by seeing their test results .

 

http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/mar99/vol56/num06/Why-Standardized-Tests-Don%27t-Measure-Educational-Quality.aspx

http://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2014/07/why-poor-schools-cant-win-at-standardized-testing/374287/

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Why the SATS Should Be Eradicated