By: Madison Burnam
The real reasoning of the SAT and more about its cursed existence.
“Hey, when are you taking the SAT?” It’s the question juniors fear and for a good and soon to be explained reason. The SAT has been under fire lately and I for one will stroke the flames.
When thinking of the value of the SAT, one must consider, ‘what do they get from this test?’ The answer is; negative five.
I preach this message because I know the pain the SAT brings. I was forced to spend my summer not on a shining warm beach with rolling waves; but cooped up in a dark, hot, and bleak test-taking room of a preparatory organization for ‘improving’ on the SAT. I can sadly say that I have taken practice Scholastic Aptitude Tests over twenty times. So take my word when I say there is nothing but pain in that booklet you bought for 50 dollars.
The SAT feeds off of the societal pressure to get into college and acts as a pseudo gatekeeper to get into colleges, even though it is an inaccurate measure of one’s knowledge. An individual’s ability to learn new skills shouldn’t be dictated by a test that grades largely off of memory instead of comprehension. The extent of the SAT’s required comprehension is that you know how to plug in variables to a formula and remember oddly specific rules.
That’s not the only problem the SAT instigates. The SAT also creates this hostile brawl among students for the perfect 1600. This dangerous mentality of competition only increases student test anxiety and fear that they won’t be good enough, especially compared to their peers.
This mentality can be found in almost any junior waiting to take the test, most juniors like Ben Nguyen with sentiments like “I can truthfully say that the darkest time in my life has been around the SAT, making me contemplate about my place and value in the world and how it, if I should, belong in it.”
Though students aren’t the only ones applying pressure the parents of many students are often a pushing force for academics in general. This pushing force the constant expectancy of a perfect score from parents is slowly destroying the very confidence of their children.
Though when one really looks at the SAT, it’s not only our self-esteem and hopes that are destroyed but also our piggy banks. The SAT costs around 50 dollars without the essay and around 65 dollars with the essay. Further backing this idea that we must pay for an opportunity to prove ourselves even though our merits should already be reflected in our transcripts and even in all the volunteer services we do.
Not to forget that it is predicted that someone will only reach their target score after an average of four times. Which adds up to a total of 200 dollars at least.
The SAT merely reiterates your knowledge of the past six years of schooling, because looking at your grades and transcripts is apparently not as reliable as taking the SAT. I am all for remembering important information throughout the years but it is downright dirty to get a low SAT score just because you forgot the unit circle.
Not only is the SAT destroying the emotional state and the piggy banks of its test-takers but also their chances. Now let me explain, the SAT promises to grade students equally without discrimination this is all and fine until companies begin to pop up taking advantage of this; prep schools that have an intimate relationship with the Collegeboard.
These SAT prep programs destroy the SAT’s hopes of grading fairly and without discrimination because now the SAT has created jobs and companies that not only give the methods for studying for the SAT but only to those who can pay for it.
Thus creating a huge discrimination line where the richer get the opportunity to attend college and have countless possibilities but the poor can’t improve their situation for a test they are taking for the first and only time because they can’t afford to take it at a leisure of four times to get their ‘ideal’ score.
Also if you haven’t noticed by this point, the SAT is run by the Collegeboard; the same corporation that runs the AP tests. Which if you could recall their payment dues were moved up to the beginning of the year. The reasoning for such an odd action is the Collegeboard’s greed for the green dollar. The earlier they move up payment dues the less time students have to second guess if this test is really for them.
The SAT doesn’t care about you, that much is obvious. The SAT cares about its continued existence, it wasn’t made for the type of individuality that we all have, it wasn’t made to accurately represent our growth, it wasn’t made to represent the journey we have taken to get to this point. The SAT wasn’t made for students, it was made for those who can only boast that they will believe 180 minutes of basic level questions can change their lives and those are no longer students they are merely slaves to this system.