Opinion

Are standardized tests ACTually worth it?

Opinion of: LILLY MOFFETT

SATs and ACTs cannot acurately measure a student’s intelligence

It was the night of Homecoming. Still recovering from the three-peat win of Spirit Week, I shivered in the cold, donned in maroon and white, cheering on the football team at the Homecoming game. But in the back of my mind sat a rock – I had to wake up at 6 a.m. the next morning and drive all the way to Bacon Academy in Colchester to take my ACTs.
Throughout my entire test, all I could think about was why these tests are so important to a student’s future. How can finding the area of a box or deciding which of many synonyms is the best for one particular sentence decide how well a student will do in college and in the real  world?
It can’t.
The College Board says that the SAT has rules in place so students have a “standardized, fair, and equitable opportunity” to show their “college readiness.” But is standardized testing really a fair way to look at college readiness? In my opinion, it is not. Some families simply cannot afford the thousands of dollars for SAT and ACT tutoring that other upper-class students receive. Others cannot afford to pay the fees to take the tests multiple times in attempts to get that coveted score. Most importantly, standardized tests do not take in account the intelligence of students who may take longer to process information, or students who are simply not good test takers.
The SAT and ACT give no inclination to colleges of a student’s creativity, leadership skills, or problem-solving. They only tell how well a student can quickly complete multiple choice questions that are nothing like college tests and quizzes.
As I began to look at colleges, I was happy to see that schools are placing less emphasis on these scores. While looking at Boston University, an admissions counselor pointed out how they place less emphasis on scores and look more at a student’s transcript from all four years. A growing number of colleges, like Bowdoin College and Wesleyan University, are test-optional, meaning students can choose to not send in any scores at all.
By placing less emphasis on testing, students can focus on making themselves more well-rounded. Instead of spending hours studying for an SAT test, students should spend their time volunteering or doing something they are passionate about while making a difference in the world. That’s what colleges should look for, and standardized testing cannot measure that degree of intelligence.

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