Wednesday, October 8, 2014

SAT Holds Too Much Weight in College Acceptance

Ben Muzekari
Staff Writer

 SAT-Superfluous Absurd Test
 Or at least that’s what the SAT should stand for. Nowadays, the SAT is blown out of proportion, and the one single test is an essential part of getting into a college of your choice. It shouldn’t be this way.
 "A lot of my teachers have said that if you don't have these scores, [colleges] won't even look at your applications" said Mara Meijer, a junior student who attends Belmont High School in California. Meijer surely isn’t the only student who feels this way, as thousands of students across the country are stressing the importance of the test. Kids are buying SAT practice book after SAT practice book, studying day after day, and signing up for SAT class after SAT class. Thousands of dollars are being spent, but what for? It’s all for one five hour test, on one day, that most likely narrows a student’s future down in the time of one sitting: one long sitting. Are college admissions really expressing more interest in a five hour test than a four year transcript? Yes, and that’s unfair to many, and from a decision-making point of view, flat out foolish.
 "They're not exactly a fair way to show our skills" Meijer stated. "I wish they could find some way to really show what we can do." It’s simple, and that way is through GPA.
GPA is the best way to define one’s ability. A transcript clearly shows grades over a four year time period. Within that time period, there are numerous homework assignments, projects, and tests. These grades reflect productivity, consistency, effort, and improvement. These four attributes distinctly represent one’s ability to perform over a long period of time as opposed to the SAT, the superfluous absurd test. What does the SAT test? It simply tests one’s ability to take the SAT, better known as, “a waste.” So why is the SAT so important? Why is it valued so much higher than GPA? Who knows? It is possible the test could be used as a deciding factor between two applicants who are in a tight race, but it shouldn't be measured as such a critical piece of information like it is today.
 "Human intelligence is so multifaceted, so complex, so varied, that no standardized testing system can be expected to capture it" states William Hiss, a former dean of admissions at Bates College in Lewiston, Maine. In recent years, Hiss has conducted multiple studies comparing the importance of GPA and SAT’s. A conclusion that Hiss often came to was simple, high school grades are crucial. High school grades are merely the best predictor of one’s success in college, not standardized test scores. Hiss came to one overall cessation, the students who had moderate test scores, but higher GPA’s, did better than students with good scores, but moderate grades. “It's probably not so surprising that a pattern of hard work, discipline and curiosity in high school shows up as highly predictive, in contrast to what they do in three or four hours on a particular Saturday morning in a testing room" inferred Hiss.
 Ultimately, the SAT solely should not be weighed more heavily than GPA. GPA is an extremely beneficial source of information as it demonstrates multiple key attributes of a student as opposed to one plain test which shows a few scores in a confined time period. As of now, more and more colleges are beginning to realize that SAT’s may not be the best determination of one’s ability. Today, 800 of 3,000 four year colleges or universities have made the SAT or ACT optional. However, this number is still relatively low and concludes that the SAT is still an exceedingly powerful way of admitting students into college, rather than GPA.

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