Sat The Wrong Choice Essay

1072 words - 5 pages

Since 1952 colleges have used the ACT and SAT tests to predict how well a student will perform in college. The tests are multiple choice and usually consist of a math, reading, and writing section. The tests are standardized with the hopes that scores provide an accurate insight to a student’s college performance. However, the ACTs and SATs do not provide a fair opportunity to all students, the scores do not accurately foresee performance in college, and overlook other important areas of study.
The point the ACT and SAT is to provide a standard and fair test to all “These exams provide a path to opportunities, financial support and scholarships, in a way that's fair to all students” (About the Tests). However it is speculated that these tests do not provide an equal experience .The language used on both the ACT and SAT adds extra difficulty to tests. The ACT and SAT use “Idiomatic terms such as ‘ball and chain’ (to indicate a married partner) and ‘straight from the horse’s mouth’” (The National Center for Fair and Open Testing). To many this style of language is unfamiliar. Specifically students who have learned English as a second language are put at a disadvantage. Language is not the only aspect of the test that is biased. A biased format also causes disadvantage to female test takers. Research shows that the multiple choice format favors males over females. Males are more likely to take a risk and guess on a question. (The National Center for Fair and Open Testing). The ACT poorly measures the abilities of females who on average earn higher grades in college than males (The National Center for Fair and Open Testing). Although on the SAT guessing could result in loss of points, it is common test taking knowledge that if one answered can be eliminated it is best to guess. Also when dealing with ACT guessing is not discouraged through loss of points. This would favor a typical male thinking style. Studies also show that standardized tests favor the wealthy.
Wealthier students have the opportunity to take the tests. “The obvious downside of the SAT testing includes the price of the exam that discourages low-income students from taking it” (Grayson) .With each test a fee arises for the SAT the fee is $51. .Wealthy students have many opportunities to prepare for the tests that would not be available to underprivileged students. The ACT and SAT both offer study guides and courses to prepare for the tests. “Preparation courses also discriminate against students without money to pay for targeted tutoring. This makes high test scores due to preparation an option only for the wealthy” (Grayson). Unfortunately study guides can be expensive ranging from $31 to $62. Students who can’t afford expensive guides are deprived of a valuable learning opportunity and concurrently could be deprived of continuing their education. If proper preparation cannot be provided, to all who take the test, than the test will no longer fair for all students. Biases cause...

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