Lawsuit proposes changes to SAT and ACT requirements

SAT scores determined by race

By: Mia Costales | Writer

December 12, 2019

In a recent California lawsuit, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing has claimed that standardized tests, specifically the SAT and ACT, do not give an accurate representation of students’ intelligence or aptitude. This lawsuit will challenge the University of California’s use of the SAT and ACT as an admission requirement.

This lawsuit has observed the two main factors that influence a person’s test score, race and wealth, and decided that the requirement of a certain standardized test score violates the California constitution. Research has shown a connection between affluence and test scores as well. Someone of a higher-income family will have more opportunities to excel in school (access to private tutors, technology, etc.), as compared to someone of a lower-income background. Therefore, test scores will have an immediate bias to the often white, upper-class student in comparison to the lower-class student with less access to testing resources.

The company that runs the SAT and ACT

Many have also pointed out the inconsistencies in adhering to all types of learning and thought processes. “I think [standardized tests] are pointless,” San Clemente High School senior Sam Coleman said. “It’s hard to even measure someone’s intelligence with normal tests because everyone thinks differently.”

Almost 50 schools have already discontinued standardized tests as a requirement for admission in 2019. GPA and extracurriculars seem to be increasingly more important in comparison to SAT and ACT scores. However, The College Board still stresses the importance of standardized test scores as a prediction for the rate of success in college and credits both GPA and test scores for acceptance into universities.

“GPAs are hard to rely on because the same class may be more or less difficult at different schools and teaching strategies vary,” junior Natalie Casto said. “Standardized tests keep the content and difficulty level the same regardless of the school you attend or the GPA you have.”

Economic and racial bias ultimately prevail when it comes to standardized testing; however, this lawsuit will open the eyes of administrators. It may be the beginning of a new policy regarding standardized tests, in which they are optional for college admissions. But for now, SAT and ACT scores still seem to be one of the major deciding factors in college acceptance rates.

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