Are College Entrance Exams Fair And Effective?

1653 words - 7 pages

A pervasive issue in education today is the college entrance exams. There are several college exams used in the United States and around the world. These include the SAT, the ACT and many other various versions of those tests. These tests are an unfair and ineffective measure to determine a student’s acceptance into college. These tests to do not measure a student’s ability to master a subject rather they measure aptitude which is ineffective. Not only do students need to achieve academically, but they are also advised to have extracurricular activities outside of the classroom. Race and gender also play a huge role in acceptance letters to universities forcing the acceptances to be unfair.
College entrance exams do not identify whether a student has mastered a subject, rather they show a student’s inborn abilities. In Seoul, South Korea students take a test like the SAT’s. The Koreans go to different lengths to study and prepare for these tests. Korean students, “will take the nine-hour test, which consists mostly of multiple-choice questions” (Park, 2008) .To some students a nine hour test might be a little too outrageous. By the fourth hour mark students are most likely to be getting tired and agitated and they are not even at the half way mark yet. In London, England they take what is called the Key Stage 2 test which is similar to the SAT. These tests are for students who are in their last year of primary school. “the results may look fairly innocuous… Yet they are anything but, because both the data itself, and the way it is used, have become the focus of an increasingly bitter argument.” (Guardian, 2007) These children have so much ahead of them they should not be thinking of college at this point; they still need to learn how to grow and being tracked for college at such a young age is an unfair practice. The program, Progress in International Reading Literacy Study, showed that, “England had fallen from 3rd to 19th place in the rankings in the five years between 2001 and 2006. Hardly a ringing endorsement for the effectiveness of SAT’s” (guardian, 2007). For some students, there are many issues such as anxiety with tests, students with ADD, and those students who are given more than the allotted time to take these tests. Many students have anxiety problems when it comes time to taking even just regular tests. The SAT is not just a regular psychology test that you can study, make note cards, and memorize for. It is a combination of academic ideas, and the pressure of getting a high score to be accepted into a college doesn’t lessen the anxiety. John Katzman, president and founder of the Princeton review, wrote a letter about the anxiety of the SAT and how “Students are anxious not because we rile them up but because this arbitrary ordeal will largely determine where they spend their next four years”. (Katzman, 2004). Some researchers even think that, “the uses of the SAT, along with other descriptive and comparative uses, are...

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