What was the purpose of the SATs? Are they still a reasonable way to test our knowledge? The SATs were originally created to test the knowledge of high school students. This test forced most schools to adopt a common curriculum and made it easier to test mass amounts of students. At the time the SATs were created, most people who went to a good college had the money to afford a good education. People who came from lower class families would go to second-rate colleges, colleges that lacked equipment or were understaffed, and because of this the students had less of an education.
In other words, your family was mostly likely rich if you went to a well-known college and had a good job. The purpose of the SATs was to have student accepted to college based on their merit and knowledge, not their economic status. For a while, the SATs served their purpose well. Students who worked hard to go to college were able to even if their family wasn’t wealthy. Over the past few years, the SATs have deviated from their purpose. They no longer test students on the knowledge they are taught in school.
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The SATs tests students more on the basis of: can the student solve the problem in a quick manner. The techniques learnt in English about rhetorical devices, fallacies, or even the basic figurative language do not show up on these tests. They now test students on basic math rules that are hidden in a confusingly worded question, the grammar that students learn in middle school, and the critical reading that is supposed to have been developed through all of school. In reality, the SATs have become a rich mans game, just like before. Each test costs $50 or more with additional fees for answer booklets or any changes made on the registration form.
Many parents hire tutors for their children because they want their child to get the best possible score so they spend another $100-$1,000 (depending on the amount of tutors and whether the tutor is private or an academy). On top of those, parents spend money on practice books. By the time the SAT is done, some families have been thousands of dollars. Considering most students take the test more than once, a lot of money spent on this test. The SATs no longer serve their original purpose.
They do not test the student on skills learnt in high school. They test students on the techniques they learn to solve a problem quickly. The SATs have also returned to the problem they were created to solve. They do not let the lower class family have an equal opportunity to the upper class families. The upper class families are able to afford tutors who can teach their children methods and techniques to navigate through the test quickly, earning the most points. The lower class family has to have their children try their best on their own or look online.
The SATs are no longer a viable method to test students.