Problems with the SAT?

It’s nearing that time of year.

Students from all over the country and the world are getting in last minute study sessions as they all prepare for the test that could determine their entire future; the SAT. The SAT, meaning the, Scholastic Aptitude Test, is a big turning point for the life of a student. Their scores on this difficult test will help determine what school the graduating high schooler will go to, then after that, what kind of job they will have and so forth for the rest of their life. So it is very blatant as to why this is a very stressful time for those students. But why do we have to take these tests? Some argue that the SAT is a good resource to help colleges separate the competent students with those who do not seem to have a chance in their school. But if that were true, would that mean that more than half of the world’s new students are too stupid to be the new generation? In fact, in the year of 2013, of the 1.

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7 million students that participated in taking the SAT, less than half of them were marked as “college ready”. So does that mean the majority of the students were inadequate? No, not at all. When a student enters, college, they have to get credit for core classes including math and english, but they also have certain majors. It is within these major classes that the students need to excel, and where they should be encouraged to excel. In tests like the SAT, the questions are tailored to fit a “renaissance man”-like view of the world where someone is encouraged to have a very good knowledge of many general topics. But as the very origin of the word “renaissance” suggests, being able to have a great understand of many things is a practice of the past.

What the present and the future need right now is specialized workers, diligent workers that are skilled in one area of expertise. Then why do schools still ask for a good score on the SAT? Well that is because the test is created to assess students on standard knowledge, but what is standard? According to, standard is “an object that is regarded as the usual or most common size or form of its kind”. But every single person is different. Some have an amazing understanding of the world around them and receive excellent scores on the SAT, but that does not mean that they do well in class. That is the same with the opposite.

There are many students that are able to process what they learn very well and do brilliant in class, but they may not have been taught the material in the SAT and then they will be classified as not “college ready”. So why has the SAT not disappeared yet? It’s unconventional. It would be a waste if the SAT was taken out of the education system suddenly. But many schools are trying their best to be courteous to all types of students by accepting other types of tests like the ACT which tests students on knowledge that should be used in everyday life. But we are not helpless to the constant barrage of useless information that we are being tested on. We can have a silent rebellion of our own by choosing not to take the SAT or to take tests that are more relevant to our life.