Abolishing the Sats Essay example

Submitted By Tahsin-Ahmed
Words: 1646
Pages: 7

Abolishing the SAT The stress, the anxiety, and the hair loss for a high schooler is not because of a girl or a guy; it is because of a test that “outlines a student’s whole life”, the SAT. College Board describes the SAT to be, “…a globally recognized college admission test that lets [the student] show colleges what [he/ she] know[s] and how well [he/ she] can apply the knowledge of reading, writing and math — subjects that are taught every day in high school classrooms.” (“About the SATs”, 2012) However, to put this much importance on this test for a student’s college admission is simply unfair. The SAT is not a good way of determining the preparedness of a student for college because it does not test a student’s full capability and this test also provokes bias. During the First World War, the SAT started off as an IQ test, created by Robert Yerkes, for the recruitment for the U.S. Army. This test, called The Army Alpha, was the first mass administered IQ test. After the war, many colleges started experimenting with The Army Alpha and in 1926 many used this test as a mean of admission. In 1933, the president of Harvard took this test and made it into an evaluation exam for the upcoming candidates for a new scholarship program. The president liked the test because, “…he thought it measured pure intelligence, regardless of the quality of the taker's high school education.” (“A Brief History of the SAT”, 2011) In 1938, a meeting between College Board and Harvard took place, where they discussed that this test should become a uniform admission exam rather than a scholarship application. Therefore, “In 1948 the Educational Testing Service was chartered and the SAT was on its way to becoming the basic college admissions device for millions.” (“A Brief History of the SAT”, 2011) However, the SAT has been altered many times throughout the years making it more improper for the students. Many people still believe that the SAT is a fair way to evaluate if a student is ready for college. Halford H. Fairchild, from Pitzer College, lists the cons of abolishing the SAT. He states, “To abolish the SAT would lower the quality of students who are admitted to Pitzer.” (Fairchild) This shows how much importance is given to the SAT for measuring a student’s knowledge. Fairchild believes that with a lower score on the SAT, a student will not capable of success. He also comments, “To abolish the SAT would leave the Admissions Office without the means for judging who is, and who is not, to be admitted to Pitzer.”(Fairchild) Again the immense priority on the SAT is valid in this statement. It is as if the Admissions Office has no other way of identifying the student’s quality and personality. Lastly, concerns about funding arise as Fairchild describes that without the SAT, the college may lose its national ranking, which will affect fund raising, student recruitment and student retention. Also, the image of the college will weaken because the college would be considered “less righteous”. All of these concerns show how much the SAT means to the college and how it affects a student’s chances to get accepted into that college. Now let’s look at the student’s point of view on this test. Fun activities are a straight “no” during the spring semester of a junior in high school, since the SATs are right around the corner. Students would be seen carrying bundles of SAT vocab cards and memorizing them whenever they can, especially during the bus rides or during lunch. Students would commit hours and hours to understand the College Board SAT book, which has no explanations for the answers. On top of that entire burden, parents would be constantly complaining how much this test means. So what does the SAT mean to today’s students? Many students will explain the spoon fed explanation, that this test showcases their ability to handle the college life. However the test doesn’t measure the student’s full potential, it just measures “…how well [the