Sat And Act: Testing Or Traumatizing?

1754 words - 7 pages

There are two tests that have been known to perpetually traumatize high school students across the United States of America: ACT and SAT. Just the thought of having to sit in a quiet room for hours while being bombarded by question after question is enough to send even the most prepared student into an anxiety attack. A student’s entire academic future depends on this one test, from deciding where to go to college, what scholarships will be available, to the level of success in college. With so much depending on one test, students end up using memorization, guessing, and cheating to get the best grade with only a few students actually devoting themselves to studying and true learning. The ACT and SAT were created to measure the student’s level of college preparedness and measure schools’ ability to teach the students. Instead of effectively completing the task it was created for, standardized tests lead to thousands of anxiety-ridden students with a phobia of tests. One high school teacher compares the ACT and SAT to “checking to make sure a plant is growing properly by repeatedly ripping it out of the ground and examining the roots. When the plant is placed back into the soil, it does not remain the same but rather is traumatized by the drastic act” (Schneider 30). Instead of continuing to cause distress to our already anxiety-ridden students, we should properly prepare our students for a test that would judge them more on their workmanship and less on their ability to spit out facts.
The ACT and SAT were put in place for a reason. The federal and state governments must be able to track the progress and academic ability of students; colleges must have a way of estimating a student’s success rate before admission. “Schools do not want to leave the progress of their students to guesswork. They value standard measures, but the measures must match the high quality of demanding school’s curriculum” (Chubb 11). Most adults believe that students should not be able to even complain about the stress of the ACT and SAT. “College — and life — are full of stress, and colleges certainly have a valid interest in knowing how their prospective students perform under such conditions. And whatever the SAT’s flaws, it has a certain fairness: You can’t grovel or flatter your way to a better score” (Cole A26). No single student is able to get ahead in these tests unless they use hard work or they stoop to cheating.
The ACT and SAT were also designed to help judge a student’s inclination for university curriculums; instead, they can often have a negative effect of a student’s freshman year of college. Students who do not reach the average, or benchmark, on a certain section of the ACT could be required to take remedial classes before they could begin taking classes required for their major. A college freshman could be forced to pay to take an entire semester of low level classes which could delay graduation by a couple of months at least. That is a...

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