The SAT/ACT Controversy

An SAT prep book that let's kids in on the 'secrets' to test.

Photo courtesy of amazon.com

An SAT prep book that let’s kids in on the ‘secrets’ to test.

The SAT and ACT standardized tests are used by colleges to measure student aptitude as well as how successful they will be in university. Both tests are a major point of stress for some students. Juniors, as well as Seniors, spend hundreds of dollars on tutoring as well as paying to take the test. The SAT and ACT are drenched in controversy that’s not solely from the recent college admissions scandal.  These scores weigh futures, and a low grade could cost the admission into a dream college just because of an off day.

The first problem with the SAT and ACT is that it’s taking a test score from one day in a student’s life and allowing colleges to base the student’s future off of the results. Sure, the test is can be retaken, but for some, it’s too expensive or just not possible.

It’s understandable that the SAT and ACT are needed to gauge student performance across the nation, but it’s unfair that colleges are allowed to heavily weigh admission due to the tests. Perhaps the SAT and ACT can still be administered but used in a different way.

Another problem with the SAT and ACT is that, unless the student has a firm grasp on everything they’ve learned from 5th grade and up, they’re going to need to hire a tutor. Tutors often charge over $100 per hour to learn the tips and tricks that are found within the test. Without tutoring, student’s fall into the pit of obsolete grammar rules and bewildering math questions. Often times, families don’t have the money to put into tutoring for their kid, leaving them to their own devices. In 21 states, at least half of the students from Pre-K to twelfth grade are eligible for free or reduced lunches. Kids who can’t afford lunch aren’t about to be able to pay hundreds of dollars for tutors and another hundred just to take the SAT/ACT.

The SAT and ACT should be treated like a test that’s graded and left to be put on a report card, not something that’s going to make or break somebody’s future. America needs to make a change to better the lives of its students to further the potential for everybody to have equal opportunities in life.