Eliminate the Sat

Topics: Norm-referenced test, Standardized test, Test Pages: 6 (1865 words) Published: February 22, 2009
Kaila DeBesse

Eliminate the SAT
The Scholastic Aptitude Test, better known as the SAT, is, “a test designed to predict college performance and to provide a means for admissions people to compare prospective students who have the same grades, but who come from widely varying high schools in different parts of the country” (Keisler 1). This standardized test has caused an immense amount of controversy all because of conflicting opinions arguing whether or not that definition is truly accurate. The SAT has created many problems for a number of high school students while trying to embark on a college career, and I claim that eliminating the SAT permanently and, instead, judging students on other educational aspects would be very beneficial.

The first controversy pertaining to the SAT is that it eliminates many minorities from being able to attend college due to poor educational preparation. It is so important for students to pursue higher education after high school, but it is hard when so many students are subject to poor teaching. In an article entitled “The New SAT and Minorities”, it is stated that, “[T]he lower performance of blacks and Hispanics reflects the fact that blacks and Hispanics tend to be clustered in poor schools offering outdated curricula taught by ill-prepared teachers” (Artze 1). Charles Kiesler, author of the article “Affirmative Action and the SAT”, claims that student’s who have access to courses targeted at training a student for college-level work are more likely to perform well on the SAT (3). Kiesler says that, “The bias is in the lack of access to [college-prep] courses for minorities in our K-12 system”(3). Another argument is that standardized tests are produced to favor a certain population or class. In The Corsini Encyclopedia of Psychology and Behavioral Science, Raymond J. Corsini says the cultural bias hypothesis states, “…the item contents of the tests are selected much more from the typical experiential background of certain groups (e.g., the white middle class) than from that of other groups (e.g., the poor and racial minorities), thereby favoring certain groups with higher average scores…” (415).

Another problem with the SAT is that it is a false reflection of a student’s knowledge. This standardized test can very easily cause a number of students to experience severe test anxiety, especially girls. In an article by Ellen Altermantt and Minha Kim, they claim that girls have shown evidence of worrying more than boys about academic performance since early childhood (2). Altermantt and Kim state, “Indeed, many studies show that students with high levels of test anxiety perform more poorly on cognitive tasks than students with low levels of test anxiety; even when levels of ability are similar” (2). In the book Test Anxiety: The State of the Art, Moshe Zeidner claims, “As the consequences and stakes of test performance assume a more important role in school and society, such as determining whether a student is promoted to the next grade…or is admitted to a top university…students would be expected to experience greater concern and anxiety about evaluative events” (6). Another negative aspect of the SAT is that wealthy students have an unfair advantage in preparing for the test This standardized exam sets high class students up for great success. Charles Murray, the author of “Abolish the SAT”, is convinced that student’s whose parents earn a high level of income can help them do better on the SAT because they can afford to buy their children SAT tutoring. (3). “If you’re rich, you can enroll your children in Kaplan, or Princeton Review, or even get private tutors to coach your kids in the tricks of test taking, and thereby increase their SAT scores by a couple hundred points.” (Murray 6). In the book, Rethinking the SAT: The Future of Standardized Testing in University Admissions by Rebecca Zwick, Lani Guinier, an academic of Harvard University, claims that the SAT...


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Artze, Isis. “The New SAT and Minorities”. Education Digest. 68:6 Feb. 2003: 1-4.
Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Blinn Coll. Lib., Bryan, TX. 11 Nov. 2007
http:// www.ebscohost.com
John Wiley and Sons. 2001.
Crouse, James and Dale Trusheim. The Case Against the SAT. Chicago. 1998
Dick, Anthony
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Douglass, John
of Public Universities. Stanford University Press. 2007
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1-4. Academic Search Complete. EBSCO. Blinn Coll. Lib., Bryan, TX. 11 Nov. 2007
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