Outdated standards

SAT, ACT unnecessary tests taken by students


Oklahoma State Department of Education

Not all students are forced to reveal their ethnicities and extra information on the ACT. Parents or guardians can sign a form saying they do not consent to their child answering optional questions unrelated to the test.

Chloe Wolf, Asst. Editorial Editor

The Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) and the American College Test (ACT) are taken by students to measure their “college readiness.” They take the tests on an assigned test date at their school or a college. The ACT tests students on what they already know. Meanwhile, the SAT can use topics that students haven’t learned yet to see how they will do in college. Both tests have become unnecessary considering the number of outside factors that can influence how students score, and the tests are becoming outdated.

Many people have claimed that both tests are biased towards rich, white Asian Americans. Rich students can pay thousands of dollars for coaching and test preparations to make sure they receive a high score for both tests. Poor students don’t always receive the same amount of education as their wealthier peers may. Rich students are more likely to have access to a good or private school with decent academics. Meanwhile, students who have less money or live in poverty won’t be as able to pursue their education or have access to the same resources used to prepare rich students for their standardized tests. The tests were accused of being racist because there is a much higher percentage of white and Asian Americans scoring higher compared to African Americans and Hispanic students. The tests themselves aren’t biased, the people grading the exams are the ones to have a bias since there is a question asking students for their ethnicity for both tests.

Scandals have been reported to be happening with both the tests and college admission boards. There have been multiple college admission scandals happening due to rich parents bribing colleges to accept their children without the children putting in the work themselves. Rich parents have also used their money to “fix” answers their children got incorrect, hire impersonators to take their child’s test, make false disability claims and bribe supervisors into ignoring the illegality. Not all children of rich parents request that their parents help them to get into college. Nevertheless, parents still consciously choose to use money as an easy way to help their children.

A number of colleges have already started making the SAT and ACT optional rather than required when students apply to their campus. Some colleges have allowed their applicants to provide their scores for other tests they’ve taken. For example, some students have provided their scores for Advanced Placement (AP) tests. AP tests may not seem as accurate for judging a student’s overall college readiness, but the test won’t have the risk of being biased considering those tests can be taken by students while in high school. Bias isn’t the only aspect affecting the relevance of the SAT and ACT. Even having memory issues or an off day can affect a student’s score.

Since there are a large number of factors that can influence a student’s score on the SAT and ACT, the tests are becoming unnecessary because they aren’t a true measure of a student’s college readiness.