Standardized Tests Are Insufficient
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"Anyone involved in education should be concerned about how overemphasis on the SAT is distorting educational priorities and practices, how the test is perceived by many as unfair, and how it can have a devastating impact on the self-esteem and aspirations of young students," said University of California President Richard C. Atkinson in a speech he gives to the American Council on Education in Washington, D.C.
I really didn't enjoy taking the SATs. SAT I cannot represent the individual knowledge of one particular test-taker, because the tests have been dissected in many prep-classes, designed to improve a student's score. However, these classes can be very expensive and give students who can afford the classes an unfair advantage. I scored well, but I hated all the drills to prepare; hated getting up early for it and hated being assigned to a testing site, which is far away from where I live. Inside the testing room, invigilators spend half an hour going through the forms and repeating basic test instructions and rules that we already know. One student raised his hand for a question, “sh … no questions allowed until the examiner comes around!” one invigilator answered without caring whether it was an emergency or not.
While you can take the test as many times as you want, to do so is costly, and often, I think scores no longer represent students' test-taking skills more than students' knowledge. Moreover, common standardized tests like the SAT I tests students in only two subject areas, math and verbal. Not enough! Students spend immeasurable amounts of money yearly taking preparatory classes for a test that does not really cover the content covered in schools, but does determine whether or not a student will get into a fine academic institution. The tests do not account for students who may be very smart, but can't perform well when being constrained by time. We should consider testing students on a broader range of topics, lending more insight to a student's versatility.
To base one student's potential solely based on one standardized test is both wrong and lazy. Colleges should be willing to examine applicants closely. They need to understand that if a high school senior has a 4.0 GPA and happened to get a 1050 on their SAT, they're not necessarily incapable of learning. Looking at both...