SAT/ACT. Good or Bad?

Posted on October 10, 2011

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         College.  Just that word alone sounds like an accomplishment.  We are always preached to about how if you want to lead a good successful life, you must go to college.  Well, that is more than often true. However, getting into the college world is a whole other story.

        The SAT/ACT are considered two of the biggest tests you will ever take.  Many people stress themselves sick when preparing for these tests.  So my question is simple: Is college placement testing, like the SAT/ACT, worth it anymore?

        In an interview with Mr. Mayo, I asked the question, “Knowing that times have changed, and testing for anything has changed, what is your take on testing for college placement?”  With that question, Mr. Mayo replied, “I hope that it is just a small part of the admission process.  I have had many great students whose scores should not have been the sole criterion for judging them.  The SAT is a good measure of reasoning ability and the ACT is a good measure of achievement so they should enter into the process.”  Based on Mr. Mayo’s opinion, we can see that these tests can sometimes be a good thing; however, this comes from an adult perspective.  

       When asking a fellow peer the same questions, the responses were not surprisingly different.  Erin Parrish talked about how it wasn’t so much the test taking in general, but that it was the length of the tests that bored her and often made her lose focus.  When asking other peers, many agreed with what Erin had said.  

       Apart from causing stress, these tests also have a different meaning.  Have you ever thought why some colleges are better than others?  Well, of course there are many factors that play into this, but little do most know that the test scores also help boost the school’s popularity. Also, many people don’t even bother applying to big name colleges, because they know that their test scores would never reach what those colleges are looking for.

       Erin stated that, “People base their choice of school off of what score it takes to get into a certain school.  Sometimes, we may not get to go where we want because we know that no matter how many times we take these tests, we still won’t amount to what those colleges want.” 

       Knowing the struggles these tests provide and the sometimes “make or break” factor in college acceptance, why are they still being used?  Would it be a good idea to permanently get rid of this whole testing method?

       “Assuming the colleges decide there are better ways to assess who will be successful, I have no problem with the tests going away.  The key, I think, is for institutions to have valid, measureable criteria on which to judge candidates for admission,” Mr. Mayo said.  

      “I don’t feel like these tests are a good measurement of potential a student may have.  I would have to say that getting rid of these tests and finding other means of deciding factors, we will be able to focus on other things like GPA for example,” Erin said.

      Whatever the reason for these tests may be, the views will always be split.  Some may say they are archaic, while others talk about how important they really are. Only time will tell if these tests are really worth it anymore.

Reported by Kylie Wright

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Posted in: Opinion