Monday, September 20, 2021

Standardized test scores should be reconsidered for admission

Not requiring SAT I scores to get into college would increase the diversity of students entering college.

The University of California system president, Richard Atkinson, recommended the schools drop SAT I scores from admission requirements. UCLA and UC at Berkeley are among nine schools in the University of California system that would use the SAT II for admissions. The SAT II tests for mastery in more specific of subject areas, such as writing and math.

SAT I scores are not required for admittance to more than 300 colleges and universities, but most schools still require the test be taken. The test also is used as criteria for many different scholarships and grants.

Atkinson has made a bold choice that other schools should imitate. The SAT I test does not do an adequate job illustrating students’ abilities and has been proven to be biased against certain races.

The SAT I tests students’ test-taking skills more than it evaluates students’ knowledge.

MSU should not eliminate the acceptance of SAT I scores, but should rely more on tests like the SAT II and the ACT when reviewing student applications. The university should also be open to new tests that could give potential students a better way of illustrating their knowledge.

The SAT I tests students in only two subject areas, math and verbal. Tests like the ACT test students on a broader range of topics, lending more insight to a student’s versatility.

When the test originated 75 years ago, the majority of college students were white males. The fact that black and Chicano/Latino test-takers average lower scores than white and Asian-Pacific American students shows the test has not evolved with the diversity of college-bound students.

SAT I also cannot represent the individual knowledge of one particular test-taker. The tests do not account for students who may be very smart, but have problems taking tests or being constrained by time.

The tests also have been dissected in many prep-classes, designed to improve a student’s score. These classes can be very expensive and give students who can afford the classes an unfair advantage.

With the problems the SAT I tests has, there is a need for a national standardized test. The switch to this new standardized testing method would have to be coupled with patience from students and university administrators.

Schools do not have the time to review large numbers of applications without any sort of test scores, giving administrators an easier way of evaluating students. It is a necessity that a standardized test captures a broader range of a student’s knowledge to be more successful than the SAT I.

A replacement to the SAT I would also have to evolve with changing teaching and learning styles. Students who excel in writing, for instance, should have a standardized test that provides them an opportunity to show their strengths.

Standardized tests like the SAT I hinder potential college students in their attempts to prove their education has been effective.

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