Dysfunctional Testing: SAT’s One of the longest debates in recent times has been whether or not the SAT is a proper mechanism for Universities to use, when deciding which students to admit. The issue of whether the SAT is biased to a certain type of group has also arisen. These issues being that upper middle class Caucasian students are at an advantage while lower SES minority students are at a disadvantage for various reasons. I believe that the SAT does not at all provide an accurate representation of what a high school student will be capable of doing in College. Students are very diverse and have different ways of showing their intelligence so providing them with a test that is fair and as diverse as they, can be a more accurate way to show their potential. A test that can possibly cater to all sorts of ways of learning and background knowledge so that critical thinking skills can truly be reflected. A one size fits all exam does no truly measure the capacities, or real knowledge of students.
Records show that those with high test scores are typically middle class male students, and those who suffer the most are minorities especially those of lower incomes. We need to find a suitable fix for this issue, especially because of the amount of stress that is put on students and how Universities see the SAT, as a way of sorting the best and worst students. Removing the SAT test altogether or making it optional on all college applications would be a more impartial selection in the admission process. Some will argue that removing the SAT as a requirement on college applications will cause more work for the universities admission because either there will need to be supplementing paper work or the workers in admission will need to deeply review each application. I believe that carefully reviewing an application is the least that can be done especially when the choice is of granting someone the opportunity for a higher education in a university. The SAT will always work against those that are not socialized into the SAT language and syntax as a result lessening the opportunities for these students to succeed. An interesting aspect is that the SAT uses terms and situations that are much more applicable to the middle class communities, there are questions written that make a lot more sense to middle class than to their working class counterparts. It is easier for a student to comprehend a question when he or she can relate to it, rather than simply trying to imagine a scenario that you have never encountered in order try and answer a question. If the working class student is a minority, it becomes even more difficult to relate to such questions. The life of a working class minority outside of school is much different from a middle class white child. There are certain social factors that working class children have to deal with, that are out of the ordinary and not taken into account when writing the SAT questions.
The SAT exam is written by testing companies whose writers and creators consist of “ some college and high school math and English teachers, few people with literature and philosophy degrees, a medievalist historian and an archeologist” ( Sloane). The rest are testing strategists and designers. All of these writers are in the range of middle to upper class because of their profession; this alone can reflect the train of thought, level of thinking, perspective, and choice of words that are likely to be to be found on the exam. Even though there is a range of professionals who write the exam, but I did not see the title of a sociologist or anyone in the field of social sciences that could write questions that are a true reflection of today’s society and that can better grasp societal issues and try to equal the plane field. None of the SAT questions are written in a format, wording, or situations so that students of lower SES can fully understand. The point is not