Why SAT scores should be taken off college applications


Grace Swanson, Reporter

SAT-the most pressure-packed test you can take. How can it be that one test, out of all of your educational experience, will decide if you are worthy of going to the college of your dreams, or pursuing your dream job. These scores do not tell us anything valuable about the students.

It is said that these tests will put all students on an equal playing field. This is not true for many reasons, among them being that for some students, high-stakes testing is a weakness. It doesn’t mean they are not smart or that they do not meet a schools’ standards.

Jonathan Lash, President of Hampshire College insists,“instead we choose quality over quantity and focus attention and resources on each applicant and their full portfolio.”  Hampshire College recently put SAT scores as optional on their applications. They say that it is not an accurate representation of their applicants.

Kelsey Page, a reporter of The Stanford Daily states, “I am more than a number.” Students should not be judged on their abilities based off of a single test. SAT and ACT tests should be taken out of college administration processes.

Over two millions students take the SAT test a year. And over 870 schools are now putting the SAT test as optional in there applications.

According to  The Stanford Daily, Statistics also show that students with a higher GPA and lower SAT scores are better, more driven students, compared to students with lower GPAs and higher SAT scores.

Jonathan Lash writes, strong high school graduates demonstrate purpose, a passion for authenticity, and commitment to positive change.” They believe that GPA, as compared to SAT scores, reflects how the student not only does in school, but applies themself to any situation or obstacle they have to face, and their determination.

Success in college is not directly related to the grades you get in highschool and your score on the SAT, but your participation in out of school activities, your parents income, and how you react to, and help the environment around you.

Kelsey Page writes, “The SAT is a proven to be reflection of socioeconomic status (SES) and a poor indicator of success in college.”

The American Psychological Association’s Stress in America survey for teens in 2014 showed that 30 percent of teens said they feel sad or depressed from stress, and 31 percent of teens say they were feeling overwhelmed. High-stakes testing in school is one of the main causes of this stress.

Additionally, the test is biased towards white, affluent students. Jonathan Lash states, “SATs/ACTs are strongly biased against low-income students and students of color, at a time when diversity is critical to our mission.” After taking the SAT off as a requirement, Hampshire College’s class diversity went up by 10% to 31% of students of color from 21%.

On top of that, based off of FairTest, Research shows that on the SAT, “The number of qualified students of color and low-income students admitted goes down. What’s more, using scores to award scholarships prevents students of color and women from getting their fair share of badly-needed tuition aid.”

As for how your parents income comes in as a factor, research done by FairTest provides proof that with tutoring can improve someone’s test scores by 100 points. Yet these classes cost $800 dollars and up. Many families struggle to put food on the table every month. Classes like this are unrealistic for a majority of the kids in highschool.

In fact, even David Coleman, president of the College Board, the organization that owns the SAT, originally even said, “The vocabulary portion is silly because the words are too esoteric for everyday use; the essay is problematic because it doesn’t value accuracy, and the math section isn’t focused enough on concepts that matter.”

If the organizer of the SAT is even beating it down, it is evident that SAT and ACT scores are not a complete accurate way for us assess our students abilities.