What I discovered about standardized test scores

Among the many juicy topics America is closely paying close attention to, the SAT and other standardized test scores are yet again in the spot light. Within recent years, concerns have been raised over how these scores are being utilized during the college application process. Major critiques of the SAT has led the College Board, the non-profit organization which provides the test, to change the structure of the test however some argue they have not gone far enough. The most prominent argument against the use of these scores is that they do not thoroughly reflect students academic capabilities due to many varying factors. These overlooked factors can range from a students financial situations to their mental health. Since the SAT and ACT are used to reflect a students comprehension for material covered in high school, the common argument in favor of the SAT and ACT is to just “go and buy a practice book and prepare for the test” however some students to not have the ability to simply buy the study book and excel on the test. Students who do not have the financial means of buying the study book or hiring a prep tutor are therefore given the short end of the stick so to speak, in comparison with students who have access to all of those things. Even though this critiques of the SAT and other standardized test scores are well supported, some educators still emphasize that these test is providing a level playing for all students since “students are taking it are around the same age and are presented with the same questions.”

Opinions on this topic are extremely divided since this is such a broad issue to attack. Many critics of the test are unable to provide an easy solution and have formed a broad spectrum of factions calling for different reforms to the test or even abolishing its impact completely on college applications. Due to their inability to unify one demand, colleges and other institutions are inconsistent with their response to calls of reforms.

One very interesting detail I uncovered throughout my search is the blatant disregard for students mental health. It was surprising to learn that “1 in 3 students reported feeling overwhelmed, depressed, and frustrated by the test, which can affect how they perform.” As someone who struggled greatly with these standardized tests and allowed these numbers to terrorize my senior year of high school, it is disheartening to know that so many students are effected in a similar way yet there is no action being taken to stop this trend. Hopefully through more conversations about this topic, effective reforms will be implemented that positively change the SAT and ACT’s role in the college application process.