Colleges place too much importance on SAT scores

Maddy Klessel, Staff Writer

Colleges need to start looking beyond a one-time standardized test taken within four hours to determine who gets accepted to their schools. The SAT and ACT are over analyzed by colleges in order to make a life altering decision for potential students. 

The SAT contains reading, writing, and two math sections, one with a calculator and one without. The ACT has reading, writing, one math portion with a calculator, and an added science section. Both tests examine students’ preparation for a one time test but claim that the end result determines your college readiness and ability. 

These tests are required by most four year universities and cost a lot of money. If some students take it once and score poorly, they may not be able to afford to do it again, which could lead to them failing to get into their desired college. 

Students that struggle with test taking but earn good grades are put at a high risk when taking the SAT or ACT. 

Because of  their lack of skills in test-taking, these students are already put behind others that scored higher when colleges glance at a two to four digit number online. 

They’re even put behind someone whose parents wouldn’t mind facing jail time to get their kid into a decent college by paying someone to change their scores or pad their resume. This is hard to imagine, but it definitely happens.

The pressure and stress these tests cause is outrageous and the College Board should be ashamed of the effects of their tests on students. 

A one-time test does not determine students’ long-term potential and capabilities. It determines their test taking skills, which is far different than their college preparedness.

What should colleges really focus on? The individual.

Yes, grades matter. Overall analysis of students’ abilities to do work on time, and take tests determines only about 1/10th of individuals’ capabilities. 

What was their background like growing up? Do they play sports? How many? Were they captain? Any awards?

Are they religious? Do they work for charity? Do they volunteer? 

Are the students involved with clubs at school? Outside of school?  What do they do in their free time? Do they have a social life outside of school?

How about finding out about their hobbies and interests, and NOT a two to four digit number online or grade out of 100% that a student earned in a classroom.  

This is what colleges need to see. Not in a personal statement or reflection essay with 75 percent of it exaggerated. 

Instead, colleges need a detailed explanation of who the students really are and why they should be considered. 

It is simply sickening that a one-time test claims it can determine someone’s readiness for college, and even worse their potential for their future, when there are many more aspects of the person to look at.