SATs reflect poorly on students


, Reporter

Sometimes 13 years of schooling just isn’t enough. From 1926 on, SATs have been required to be accepted into college on top of what students have already accomplished in all of their high school classes. The idea that one standardized test could make or break a student’s application based on the score is truly unacceptable. Teachers and counselors suggest studying for the SATs, but there is simply no way to ensure readiness for this standardized examSure, everyone knows the three categories: reading, math, and writing. For students who have taken the test multiple times, they know the format, but the questions are always different.

It is also possible that some high schools and teachers aren’t teaching some skills and vocabulary in depth enough that show up on the SATs, which is problematic for students who want to receive a good score. Without knowing the precise curriculum, there is no certainty that students are going to perform well. Most students have to dish out the $54.50 more than once. It has been said that scores increase after the first time taking the SAT. Hearing that, students believe it will be true and sometimes make futile attempt after futile attempt. In reality, the SAT scores can make an application look worse compared to high school grades and GPA.

For current seniors, SAT crunch time is now. Many have completed the exam multiple times before now and are currently sending in college applications. It is not common for seniors to be deferred based solely on their SAT scores, but it is definitely is a deciding factor for admissions. Waiting to hear back from colleges just adds to the stress of senior year.

The point is, SATs are stressful, period. This year Big Spring begun adding SAT prep courses focusing solely on preparing students to take the exam. For students who are struggling, this may be a great solution to improve their scores. College Board also offers free online practice tests and test booklets to prepare students prior to taking the exam. Surely practicing standardized testing will increase scores, but there is no certainty. Some excelling honor students may have perfect GPAs in high school but perform poorly on the SATs. The fact is some people don’t perform well on any type of standardized test because students are individuals. Individuals are all different and diverse and may not adapt to one single test in the same way. This shows that standardized tests are not the way to go when trying to test student’s basic knowledge.

A lot of speculation has been tossed around that the ACT, which offers a science section,  is the better option for a college entrance exam. Students are considering their options and taking both tests to see which one is the better fit. The ACT tends to be the “bigger picture exam” that offers more advanced math concepts and is more straightforward. Students who take the SAT see that it has a stronger emphasis on vocabulary and is broken up into more sections. The choice is ultimately up to the student to decide which test suits them better.  One may be better than the other, but still shouldn’t be necessary to be accepted into college.