SAT/ACT injustices

PREP COURSES often create advantages for higher-income students. Photo from CCPrep.org

Mirca Gomez | Writer

April 22, 2021

By the end of the 19 century, exams such as the SAT and ACT became required from colleges and universities. However, rules have changed since the pandemic. Now, some schools are either blind to the exams or have made the tests optional, meaning that fewer students are being faced with enormous amount of stress. Since these tests were required for a long time, people started noticing several injustices with the exams. 

The exams are discriminatory towards low-income families because it is puts them at a disadvantage. Low-income families do not have the money to enroll their children into prep classes that cost thousands of dollars. Therefore, the higher class families are getting an advantage and preparing months in advance for the exam. Most of the prep courses have been proven to significantly improve the student’s scores, which means that those getting extra help will be getting a higher school. Since the exams play a role in getting admitted into a college, those earning a higher SAT or ACT score will have a better chance of getting into a specific college or university. 

“I believe the SAT and ACT are huge factors in our progression to college; however, I do not find them to be a beneficial way to test our abilities to attend the college of our dreams.” junior Meelad Ahmadi said. 

Another concern that was frequently brought up was that these exams are not a fair representation of the students. Some students are simply not good at taking tests and performing poorly on them, however, that does not mean they do not understand the concepts. It is not fair for those students who cannot perform well on tests to be rejected from the schools of their dreams. 

“Even if a student performs well all year long in their classes it is quite possible that they have an off day when they are taking their SAT/ACT and consequently their test scores do not reflect their typical performance in the classroom.” junior Madeline McDonald said. “Other factors like test anxiety, family emergencies, sickness, lack of sleep, etc. can all contribute to a bad test day.”

A sitdown exam does not reveal how competent a student is or how well they will fit in with a school. Something that has also been mentioned is how these exams are not testing on things that should be more important for colleges to consider before admitting students.

“These tests rarely highlight the gifts of students and their passions, which I believe colleges should be more aware of,” junior Amanda Tolosa said. “Life is not all about test scores, although they can be important in some situations, we individually have our own gifts and passions that colleges should be more aware of.”

Although in a way dropping the tests is unfair to previous generations of students, it is a good step into the future. Students who perhaps do not perform well on exams or do not have the money to pay for prep courses have a higher chance of being admitted into the college of their dreams since there will not be a test to ruin their chances. Dropping these exams opens up the door for more students to go to college and get a higher level of education. 

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