Students, Scores, and Schools

Testing, testing, and more testing. Although many high school students hate taking standardized tests, like the SAT, because they take a long time, can seem pointless, and cause added stress, they fail to realize the benefits of these assessments. These benefits are now necessary as assessing the strengths and weaknesses of students becomes more difficult in the crazy and competitive world of college applications.Colleges and universities should continue to require standardized test scores because standardized testing provides solid, objective measurements of students’ achievements.

With issues like grade inflation, which “made it difficult to weigh the real value of the GPA” according to College Board President Gaston Caperton, applications can be a snake pit for admission officers, and colleges need a baseline to compare students’ abilities and levels of education (Caperton). In 1987, 27% of students taking the SAT had a GPA of an ‘A’. Twenty years later in 2007, this percentage rose to an inflated 43%, requiring colleges not to use GPA alone and instead “rely on the SAT to be an objective measurement” as well (Caperton). In this case, the SAT remains the most effective way for colleges to evaluate students’ knowledge and skills locally and internationally, because scoring remains the same universally.Although the SATs can help with problems surrounding grade inflation, issues also arise about whether they are fair to all ethnic groups.

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These cries of inequality have now mostly been silenced as many experts, like Herbert Walberg, author or editor of over 60 books on education, say they “are generally good at measuring students’ knowledge, skills, and understanding” without letting one specific group benefit more than another “because they are objective, fair, efficient, and comprehensive” (Walberg). “Research also has shown that the SAT does not discriminate against any ethnic or racial group” (Caperton).The SAT allows anyone pursuing a higher level of education to take a fair test.The test does not help or hurt any group of people.Every student wants a fair comparison when being accepted into college, especially when students put sweat into their academics.Consequently, standardized testing has become a necessity.

The SATs are one of the only ways to accurately and fairly measure students’ achievements.Colleges must require standardized tests scores in order to keep competition fair. While critics of standardized tests, like the SATs, accuse them of putting too much stress and pressure on high school students, it is important to remember that while standardized tests add stress, the majority of student stress comes from balancing regular school functions and concerns about their future.As students transition from middle school to high school, the amount of homework significantly increases which makes “homework..

. the leading cause of stress” in high school students according to Mary Alvord, a public school coordinator from the American Psychological Association and a clinical psychologist in Maryland (Neighmond).In addition, concerns about being accepted to college and entering the workforce grow as these drastic changes come closer.Although the SATs may cause some stress in students, homework and busy student schedules to fill college applications with AP credits and dozens of extra-curricular activities cause significantly more stress. Colleges and universities depend on the SATs and standardized test scores in order to decide on acceptance.

Everyone wants to find their perfect college, right?The only fair way for colleges to measure students’ achievements is through standardized testing. Colleges need to require SAT scores to keep a level playing field for all types of students.Unless colleges and universities require standardized test scores there is no fair way to measure students’ achievements.