Study Finds Students Prefer to Test on Their Own Terms

A recent study found that the number of students taking the SAT, which was once taken by a majority of high school students, has now fallen to an all-time low of 35 percent.

This is largely due to students’ creating their own test. From drawing geometric shapes at home with colored pencils and scratch paper, to reading a book under certain time constraints, high school students began performing this new test to determine their academic aptitude and college readiness. The study shows that the convenience of taking the test on your own terms and in your own home reduces stress for students during such an important point in their lives. Students and teachers alike express their love for this exam. “Students love taking it, and teachers simply love preparing their students to take it,” said principal Bobby Stewart. “I just don’t understand why kids are still choosing to take a standardized government issued exam.

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It’s not right. It’s downright communism.” Agreeing with Mr. Stewart, several teachers went on to note that they actually enjoyed the activities used to prepare students for their personalized “At Home Test,” or “AHT”. They described how each student had their own materials they brought into class to prepare for the exam. “One student brought a box of spaghetti and cooked it right in front of me!” exclaimed Mrs.

McFadden, the 11th grade World History teacher. It’s obvious why students choose to take the AHT over the SAT—it’s reasonable. Drawing some circles or reading a book that interests the student doesn’t drain students’ wallets like the SAT does. Online surveys indicate that students feel that the $54 (the cost of the SAT) could be better used buying materials for the AHT, including string, colored pencils, rope, with plenty of money left over. Companies use these staple items daily, and students are doing their best to utilize them as they prepare for the workforce following graduation. The AHT predicts student success far more accurately than many other generic standardized tests.

Instead of getting a score that arbitrarily judges students and dictates which colleges accept them, the applicants send in results that indicate their skills on their own terms. Sixty-four percent of students who chose the AHT over the SAT got into a university that ranked in their personal top five list. The SAT, created in 1926, is no longer a viable means to determine the aptitude of students across the world. Testing indiscriminate mathematical, literacy, and “test-taking” skills does not effectively indicate the social and academic strengths and weaknesses of students. Not only are students and teachers involved in the AHT prep process, but parents are as well.

“We all get involved in the process,” explained Barbara, a mother of two high school boys. “I find myself cheering on little Billy after he draws a perfect trapezoid. It’s just amazing!” Not only is the AHT helping bring students closer to college, but it also brings them closer to their families. One student in particular, Timothy Berkavich, reported that he was able to get up and grab a snack or use the bathroom whenever he wanted and for however long he wanted to during the exam. Furthermore, students have chosen to split the test up into their own sections.

For example, Timothy began his exam by drawing a series of geometric shapes, went on to whittle a small log into a duck, and finished by recording himself singing a song he wrote. “The entire exam only took me about two hours,” Timothy explained. “I enjoyed the entire process and it helped me express my creative side to colleges.” It’s hard to argue against an exam that enables students to effectively showcase their talents and express themselves to universities of their choice. People are realizing that the SAT never accurately determined the intelligence or academic capabilities of students, and are enthusiastic about the new individually-tailored exam.

Hershal Erwitz, a standardized test analyzer, added that the arrival of a personalized test minimalizes the problem of cheating. Schools around the nation often punished students with wandering eyes during major entrance exams, discouraging them to improve their scores, but with the arrival of the AHT that’s no longer a problem. The stigma behind college placement exams is disappearing as more kids look forward to taking the AHT in their junior year. Students no longer have to anxiously drive miles away to testing centers or spend tense hours studying, emptying their wallets for an exam that can impact the rest of their lives. Rather, they can allocate their own time taking the AHT, a test that serves their interests.