The Wealthy Win the SATs
What is terrifying? What is tear inducing? What is discouraging?The dreaded rejection letter.Unfortunately, receiving such a letter could be the result of low SAT scores. In the end, a college will accept a student who scores higher on their SATs rather than one who scores lower.This is not fair.
A lot of things affect how a student does on their SAT test, and many have nothing to do with the student’s intelligence.Colleges should stop requiring SAT testing because wealthier students have an advantage. There is a direct correlation between family income and SAT scores. Students living in low income areas will not receive as quality of an education as others, and wealthier students can afford expensive tutoring to prepare for the test.It is found that there is a direct relationship between family income and a student’s SAT scores.
According to The New York Times, “moving up an income category was associated with an average score boost of over twelve points,” and it was found in every category (SAT Scores).Students cannot control their families’ incomes, so why should that control which colleges accept them?Due to unfortunate circumstances students living in low income area will not get as high quality of an education as those living in a wealthier area, and; therefore, will not be as prepared to take the SAT test.The schools in these low income areas often do not have the resources necessary to provide the best possible education for the students which can cause them to progress slower academically (Education and Socioeconomic Status).This gives the wealthier students an ample advantage on the SAT test early on which is hard to make up for. Finally, not only do wealthier students already start off with a better education, but they also have the means to pay for expensive tutoring in order to prepare them for the test.
On the high end of the scale lies tutors who venture to students boarding schools and homes for extensive preparation.Their base cost is $225-$525 per hour (TEST-PREP).Obviously, the majority of students do not take this route; however, even basic tutoring from Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions costs $120-$150 per hour (TEST-PREP).This is not a manageable bill for most low income families, for they will not consider it necessary even though it will take a toll on the student’s scores.Everyone wants to be accepted into the college of their dreams, so why should money stand in the way? Although numerous pieces of evidence exist that show how the SAT test does not accurately measure a student’s intelligence, many admissions officers believe that the test is the only way to compare students across an even playing field.According to Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, “The SAT offers a standardized, level playing field in the admissions process, where grade inflation has made it difficult to weigh the real value of the GPA of a student from one school against that of a student from another” (Caperton).
Caperton claims that since different schools weigh higher level classes differently, GPAs should not be used for an accurate comparison of students.However, different students also test differently, learn in different environments, and are taught in different ways all of which affects their test scores. Some teachers prefer to use the traditional method of teaching focusing on skills and memorization, but others prefer the “child-centered experiential learning” approach which is more relaxed.More heavily structured teaching has been associated with higher achieving classrooms; however, regardless of which style yields better results, the results differ (Preface ).These different styles of teaching affect how a student does on tests and in the classroom, so the SAT is not any more of an even playing field than GPA.
Not requiring SAT scores for college acceptance will allow students to further their careers based on who they are instead of a number on a test.The amount of money that a student’s parents earn should not be a factor in what college he or she gets accepted to.Without the SAT test requirement for college students from all income categories will be able to better their educations and their futures.