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1 Chelsea Koldsbaek Professor Malcolm Campbell Writing 1104 4 November 2017 To Test or Not to Test? – The Insignificance of SAT Scores 1. You were required to take the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) before being admitted into your college/university a. Yes b. No 2. The approximate amount of hours you spent studying in preparation for the SAT:
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  1 Chelsea Koldsbaek Professor Malcolm Campbell Writing 1104 4 November 2017 To Test or Not to Test?  –   The Insignificance of SAT Scores 1.   You were required to take the Scholastic Achievement Test (SAT) before being admitted into your college/university a.   Yes  b.    No 2.   The approximate amount of hours you spent studying in preparation for the SAT: a.   0-15  b.   16-25 c.   26-35 d.   36+ e.    No idea 3.   Which of these do you feel most accurately represented who you were as a student in high school? a.   ACT score(s)  b.   SAT score(s) c.   GPA d.   Class rank e.   All of the above f.    None of the above 4.   Did you enjoy taking the SAT? a.   It was the highlight of my high school career  b.   Sure c.   I was forced to pay to take a test I didn’t care about. What do you think?  d.   What’s the SAT?  5.   Do you believe the SAT accurately predicted how well you performed/are performing as a freshman in college? a.   Absolutely, spot on  b.   Wait, THAT is what it was for? c.   I don’t even know how you measure that  d.   I got in. I’m here, so didn’t it?  e.   Haven’t even thought about it since I got accepted into college honestly   Commented [BA1]: Different type of introduction, but it does look brilliant  2 For decades, high school students across the United States have been required to take the Scholastic Assessment Test, commonly known as the SAT. This test, combined with grade point average (GPA), class ranking, and/or American College Testing (ACT) scores, are used to help determine how a student will perform in their freshman year of college. The SAT test measures students’ skills when it comes to mathematics, reasoning, and writing. However,  the test has sparked controversy about the true accuracy of SAT scores. Along with this, the rise of a movement against requiring SAT scores for college admission has been created. The purpose of this paper will be to further explain why SAT scores should no longer be required for college admissions purposes. SAT scores alone are not accurate indicators as to attempt to prove how well a student will perform his/her freshman year of college. For colleges and universities across the United States, most places require students to submit a certain number of things during the application  process. These requirements oftentimes include: GPA, class rank, ACT score(s), AP test score(s), International Baccalaureate (IB) scores,   and/or SAT score(s). Colleges will look at all of these things submitted in order to attempt to determine how well a student will do his/her freshman year of college. The aim of most colleges is to attempt to have a high graduation-rate while also being funded properly. If the public sees that a higher level institution holds a reputation for being selective and producing highly successful graduates, then the applicants will attempt to perform better throughout high school to prove their worth. With a score ranging anywhere from 400-1600, the higher the score, the better a student is believed to be. However,   most colleges look at SAT scores specifically as a major consideration for admission into their   school. The test was created in order to show that those who work hard, have a high level of intelligence, and know how to prove that will earn higher scores than anyone else. “The SAT Commented [BA2]: So why would they require it to enter college! Commented [BA3]: Sometimes SAT is the most important thing, I did not get accepted in USF because I had lower score in math section of the SAT test than what they required Commented [BA4]: That’s right  3 measures students' ability to learn. The ACT measures what students have already learned” (Barnes, 50). This is why most colleges have used the SAT as a strong determining factor for so long. But, the test does not encompass all that a student can do. “ And although the test's sponsors (the College Board and the Educational Testing Service) say that it is most reliable when combined with other admissions information and shouldn't be used without that, many selective colleges and scholarship competitions rely heavily on the SAT. As a result, students are rejected by colleges and univer  sities where they could do well”  (Toch & Walthall, 94). Therefore, SAT scores are not as accurate as one would be srcinally led to believe. Studies have been conducted to also showcase that SAT scores are more associated with socioeconomic status rather than accurate student ability. In a study taken in 2014, the College Board broke down family incomes compared to test scores based on a $20,000 range. The study concluded that those with higher family earnings were more likely to earn a higher score on the SAT. Students with families who earn an average of $200,000 or more tended to earn an average, combined score of 1714 out of 2400. However, those with family earnings under $20,000 averaged a combined score of 1326 out of 2400. This study also compared the difference between students who come from educated families as well versus those who do not, averaging 300 points higher than them (Goldfarb, 2014). Wealthier families can afford to have  better educational advantages for their child(ren) versus those who cannot. For those who can afford it, SAT prep-classes can be taken, test-books can be bought, and multiple tests can be paid for if a family’s student(s) does not perform well the first time around.  For example, the cost to take the SAT today is $46. Test-prep books can range anywhere from as low as $20 to over $100 apiece. SAT prep courses can be approximately $600-$800, sometimes higher depending on where/and by whom. It is not uncommon for people to believe that the more expensive  4 something is, the better/more effective it is. So, if a family can afford the best, they are more likely to pay for it. And while changes to the test itself have been made in an attempt to account for this, it has not proved to help change the outcome. “‘ There is a risk that by incorporating more advanced math, for example, it will make the test more sensitive to differences in schooling.’  Too often, she (Julian Barnes) adds, ‘ kids who go to school in poor areas do not have access to competent instruction ’.” (Barnes, 50)  With all of this extra help combined, it is no wonder that those less fortunate receive lower scores. Say a student has a bad day the day before he/she has to take the SAT, his/her score will not turn out as well as he/she would have hoped. But, say he/she cannot afford to take the test again. This student may be one of the top-ranked students in his class, wi th a 4.0 GPA, and excellent AP scores; but that one SAT score won’t indicate that at all. The SAT may have originally been created to showcase this student’s capabilities, but it is too difficult to determine that based on one bad day’s worth of testing.  Today, organizations are banding together to showcase how strongly they feel about no longer requiring SAT scores for college admissions purposes. The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, also commonly referred to as FairTest, is advocating for less reliance on standardized tests, such as the SAT. FairTest was created to show the united-front of those colleges and universities that do believe that tests such as the SAT and ACT are not accurate indicators to showcase student capabilities. This organization holds a list of over 870 higher level institutions that either do not require test scores for admissions decisions or make them optional to submit. This push against heavy reliance on test scores allows for students to apply and be given the chance to do well when they would have otherwise not even been admitted. Hampshire College has been used as a major focal-point for the study used to advocate for a test- blind policy. When asked, Bob Schaeffer, the public education director of FairTest reported that,   Commented [BA5]: Also, they won’t be under pressure while doing the test because they can do it over and over, but who has lower income they cannot do it many times, so whenever they have the chance to take they will be under pressure because they have to get high score Excellent study that you chose.
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