That seems to be a popular question nowadays. Is the SAT going away? Some colleges have announced that the SAT will not be required for the upcoming year. Although this is happening in a pandemic year, many hope that this thought process will continue. This testing is not going anywhere. Although the name may change, there is absolutely no way that we can get rid of the concept behind SAT testing.
Colleges get thousands of applications. Students tell colleges about their grades, extra curricular activities and anything else that set them apart from their peers. Grades are given by teachers across the country. Each teacher designs their own tests or they follow a curriculum designed by their city’s school board. It may be easier to get an A from a nice teacher in Wisconsin than to get an A from a tired teacher in Alabama. It is possible that the school the student attends in Ohio has a lot of excellent students and the teacher has to grade harder so they don’t give everyone an A. On the other hand, the student may come from a school that has students that are not as motivated and the teacher gives an A to someone that would barely meet the mark elsewhere. It is also human nature to give a better grade to a student who has more charisma than someone who doesn’t. So nice students may get a great grade and they might not understand the material Extra curricular activities are similar. A student who is on the tennis team in South Carolina might not have had as much competition as a student in North Carolina. The only way to compare each student is to hold them to the same standard. That is why the SAT came into place in the first place.
Colleges may be trying to earn more money and are willing to let students in without the SAT just to make more money. That can work for certain majors. However, for many fields, such as engineering, medical fields, law and other non liberal fields, this will not work. An engineering college that accepts students that are not able to do basic math when they come into the program will graduate students that are not qualified. Those students will fail in the workforce. The SAT ensures the college that the student they accept is of the caliber to excel in their rigorous coursework and will make successful workers when they go out into the real world.
The SAT isn’t going anywhere. It may be repackaged under a different name. But it is not possible to keep a credible education system going without real testing. We should strive to make sure our students can reach the bar set by the SAT instead of just trying to get rid of the bar.
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