The downsides of the SAT

Editors give perspective on globalized assessment


US News and World Report

Students will be taking the SAT tomorrow, March 3

Daniel Lackey and Chloe Presley

Opinion 1:

The SAT provides students with a variety of opportunities: scholarships, acceptance into college, etcetera. That’s great and all, but there’s one itsy-bitsy issue that’s very questionable about it all. 

It’s a test.

It’s a test that students tirelessly prepare for in the hopes of attaining the aforementioned benefits. It’s a test that requires students to study indiscriminate mathematical concepts. It’s a test that students might worry about more than their own classes if not on top of them.

 It’s a test that doesn’t reflect a student’s academic abilities. 

A student may do exceptionally well and enjoy the rewards. But what if he or she doesn’t put in the work in core classes that should be the focus prior to college? He or she gets accepted into college, and then what? College readiness might be out the door because of that lost work ethic. 

On the other hand, you might have a student who’s indifferent to the test, doesn’t do so well, yet holds school in importance; he or she might be better prepared for college—in spite of what the results say. 

Opinion 2:

The idea that the SAT gives students an outlet as to what college classes are like and that it prepares you for college in general isn’t entirely correct. You’re better off taking dual credit and advanced placement classes if you’d like to get a feel as to what college can be. A test isn’t going to tell you how ready you are, let alone if you should go or not, yet so many students treat it as if it’s the only thing that matters, and if they don’t get a good grade, they won’t succeed in life. 

The SAT seems to do is give students an unnecessary amount of stress, making them feel as if they have to stay up and study the night before, and then make you feel worthless when the grade comes back worse than they had hoped. Not only is it an unneeded and a significant amount of pressure on students,the importance that is placed on the SAT gives those who have a learning style that simply aren’t compatible with the SAT, and yet seen to demonstrate their intelligence in different ways a disadvantage. 

All of this seems to pile up into one big mess, allowing certain students to pass with flying colors, and allowing others to be left behind in the dust. The whole thing seems to make you wonder what exactly are we accomplishing in making millions of students take the test, when all it does is make students fret, or in worst case scenarios, not try and simply lay down to “accept their fate” of failing?