Should the SAT and ACT be abolished?

Sierra Reed, Guest Writer

  1. A perfect SAT score. 36. A perfect ACT score. These two scores alone help determine a student’s academic and career path. Being a high school student myself, I constantly think about my future after high school and constantly worry about all the tasks I must complete such as submitting college applications and being successful on the SAT. This should not be the case. I, alongside many other students, shouldn’t have to spend so much time worrying about getting perfect scores on these tests but it is a sad reality that we do because of the immense unneeded pressure put on the outcome of these tests. Standardized tests should be abolished due to their unreliability, the social inequities of these tests, and the fact that these tests do not measure college readiness. 

Standardized tests are a poor measure of college readiness and intelligence, which diminishes their overall credibility. Standardized tests, such as the SAT and ACT, do not test in every field of education. Therefore, it is unfair as most students tend to accelerate better in certain classes over others. Because of this, it is quite hard to get the full picture of a student’s true intelligence and skill; which displays standardized testing in an untrustworthy way. To add on, standardized testing is not a helpful tool as these tests don’t measure students’ ability to think deeply or creatively, just to think in a very clear-cut textbook way. According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, “The narrow focus of the test questions and the time limit on these tests further contribute to lower score outcomes, thus producing a less valid measure of true intelligence.” (Daniels) The untrustworthy and unreliable nature of standardized tests only provides support to the argument that these tests should be abolished. 

Another factor as to why standardized tests should be abolished is the social and economic inequities of these tests. It is harder for lower-income families to purchase SAT prep courses or tutors in order to help their children properly prepare for these tests as these helpful tools are quite expensive. This then creates a great disadvantage for lower-income families in regard to college admissions and acceptances. Some may argue that getting rid of these standardized tests would be beneficial but would be too difficult for all colleges and universities to accept. Recently, the UC system made the decision to drop all SAT and ACT scores from admissions and scholarships. The chancellor of UC Berkeley released a statement saying that these standardized tests, “really contributed to the inequities of our system.” This only further proved the claim that major inequities are present with the SAT and ACT and therefore should not be used in college admissions. It only makes sense for other colleges to follow in the footsteps of the UC system and abolish these tests. 

Furthermore, standardized tests don’t even measure college readiness or success. Logically thinking, GPA is a much better predictor for college success rather than a score on one single test. The grade point average that someone works towards for their entire high school experience better reflects their work ethic and intelligence rather than how well they are able to bubble in an answer on a test sheet on one single day. An article in Forbes, reported: “High school GPAs were found to be five times stronger than ACT scores at predicting graduation rates, and that the effect of GPAs was consistent across schools, unlike ACT scores.” 

  It is very evident that standardized tests are unnecessary and unfair to use as such major college acceptance decision factors. Being a high school student myself and having taken the PSAT before, I felt that the test was quite unnecessary. I felt rushed and overwhelmed. I felt that I had to know everything in order to succeed when in reality, I was just being tested on what I already knew. Therefore, it is my firm belief that standardized tests should no longer be used as college acceptance decision factors due to the fact that they only promote inequality, unfairness, and uselessness for future prediction. 

  1. The perfect SAT score that every student wishes to achieve. 36. The perfect ACT score that every student wishes to achieve. But why is it so important to get a good score on these two tests? Why is there so much importance placed on the outcome of these standardized tests when they are unreliable and outdated? It is only reasonable that other factors contribute more importance to college acceptance decisions and success rather than the SAT and ACT. Therefore, these useless measurements of knowledge should be removed from the entirety of the school system.