Standardized Testing as a Means of College Entry

Topics: University, Norm-referenced test, Standardized test Pages: 3 (924 words) Published: July 22, 2010
Began in the 1920s the SAT was the first ever use of a standardized test to determine entrance into a college (Pacenza). The SAT was originally developed to keep the upper-class from being the only ones to attend college. College professors at Harvard did not like the fact that only the elite attended their college; they wanted the smartest students from across the country to attend Harvard and thus the SAT was formed as a means to test the ability of said students. Since then the SAT has gone through many changes but one constant has remained: its ability to be simple yet confusing (Pacenza). Today the official use of the SAT is to measure a person’s success rate in college, but there is little evidence to support this. The SAT, therefore, should not be used by colleges as a method of determining admission.

The SAT is believed, by many, to be able to predict ones performance in college. It is argued that the SAT works because it is used in a process with interviews, GPA, and extracurricular activities to predict whether or not someone will be able to complete college. Other supporters of the SAT argue that it creates an unbiased testing environment where cheating is almost impossible.

The most obvious reason that SAT should be abolished as a way to determine college admission is test anxiety. Throughout their scholastic careers students are told about how important the SAT is and how they must do well on it to get into a “good” college and have a “good” life. This pressure to do well on the SAT creates, in many students, test anxiety. Test anxiety is anxiety that is experienced before or during a test to such an extent that it causes poor performance and interferes with learning. So why would we make students take a test to determine whether or not they get into college when we know that part of them will do poorly on it just because they are taking it? The answer is we should not do it at all. Making someone do something that they are going to be bad at...

Cited: Murray, Charles. “Abolish the SAT.” The American. July 2007. 1 May 2010. .
“Optional List.” Fairtest. 2010. 1 May 2010. .
Pacenza, Matt. “Flawed From the Start: the History of the SAT.” J-post. 2007. 1 May 2010.
“SAT: Does it Work?” Time Magazine. January 2006. 98-101. Vol. 197 No. 5.
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