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Are Standardized Tests A Good Measure Of One’s Ability?

1616 words - 7 pages

If you are a student in some form of higher education institution, you might have gone through the scary phase of having to take a standardized test to apply for a college, a scholarship program or better still to complete the high school program. Normally good scores in these tests guarantees good scholarships or admission into an institution because the scores from standardize tests are used as a conclusive measure of one’s abilities. But due to the fact that these scores ignores years of hard work and commitment and focuses on just a test, it’s about time we acknowledge standardized tests are not an accurate measure of one’s knowledge.
It is often argued that standardized tests such as the SAT and the ACT prepares students for college. Whiles it is impossible to argue they don’t, are we conceding that years of assignments, home works, experiments and research work is not worth more than a day of a test? Have we finally concluded that all those time we spent at high school are not enough to grasp the needed skills to stay in college? I certainly do not think so. In my country, there are three systems of education you can pursue. The American system, the United Kingdom system and the Western-Africa system. From a personal experience, I remember a friend who tested out of the latter system as one of the best in the country but wouldn’t have made most highly

selective colleges in the USA with his SAT scores. In a similar situation, I didn’t excel in the West Africa system but made the SAT with impressive scores even though I didn’t pass through the American System. Where do the disparities of these tests come from? It is because certainly different tests measure different abilities. The SAT is basically Math and English but the ACT has a science section yet, both tests are considered on the same level for admission. One measures knowledge in science, one does not. If these tests measure different knowledge, why do we consider an SAT score of 2400 as same as an Act score of 36? An article in the Washington post which sought to describe what ACT measures read as “a good predictor of future college academic success.” I found the article very devastating. If we are to go by a simple rationalization, which would be a good predictor of the future? A consistent form of work for more than 3 years called a ‘GPA’ or a test taken at the end of the 4 year program? It leaves much to be desired.
To take a standardize test, it often requires adequate preparation. These preparation include buying books, hiring tutors and recently, costly prep websites. These preparation materials however wouldn’t be a concern if you attend a top notch school or if you are a wealthy student. That leaves a question about students who cannot afford the preparation but must write the test. The official SAT online course costs $70 on Collegeboard’s website. The study guide costs $22. These are quite affordable but according to, it could...

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