It’s Time To Abolish The Act And Sat

1035 words - 4 pages

A young girl is excited about graduating high school and attending her first year at college. She tries hard at school and receives above-average grades. She is an active student involved in student council, band, the drama team, and peer tutoring, but her ACT scores are extremely low, disqualifying her from many universities. The young girl represents many students who are not successful at taking standardized tests because they have not developed the advanced skills required to take a test like the ACT or SAT. An academically motivated and responsible student should not be prevented from attending college because a "standard" test is not his or her standard. The current methods of testing for the ACT or SAT should be abolished and replaced with modified and less "standard" questions to better measure a student's learning potential. In addition to different testing techniques, a student's learning potential should be a measure of a culmination of activities and methods; testing should be less important than other methods in determining a student's learning potential, if not the least important. Standardized testing must evolve to encompass a more diverse student population, and it should not be the primary factor in measuring learning potential.

Any diverse group of organisms will not respond identically to a standard test; some will respond positively, and some will respond negatively. The student population of the United States is an extremely varied group, and students will respond differently to the same "standard" test. The format of the current standardized test, all multiple-choice questions, does not allow for variables among the test takers. In fact, the test attempts to erase all the variables and create a uniform response from a non-uniform group, a difficult task. Variables among students like schools, teachers, economic status of the student and school district, and family life of the students all vary greatly from student to student. Some of these variables might negatively affect a student's ability to answer the specific multiple-choice questions on a standardized test, but the learning potential lies within the student, not the multiple-choice question. The makers of the test cannot encompass all the variables of the students in the multiple-choice questions, nor should they have to try. The multiple-choice questions should be replaced with essay questions that allow for a diverse response from students of many backgrounds, not one "standard" response from a uniform background. Supporters of standardized testing might argue that a test cannot encompass all the variables of the student population, but essay questions encourage diversity, not uniformity, in the students.

Successful ACT test takers may have no interest in college, yet they may be accepted and attend on scholarship money from the school because of the high ACT scores. This student might waste time and money in college because he or she has no real interest...

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