SAT: Unfair? Elitist? Overrated? All Of The Above

New research suggests that colleges pay even more attention to the dreaded SAT than we thought. Full Story
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JohnNS

Hickory Hills, IL

#41 May 31, 2009
Ryan wrote:
I am a Junior in high school and I am about to take the SAT's. I did fairly well on the PSAT and I hope that we can sort this mess out of how much the SAT's are weighed in the College addmissions process. Kids today don't know what to think. Some colleges (mostly liberal arts) I've looked at say that SAT scores are not required to gain admittance. Instead they require a number of personal essays. But at the same time kids in school are being drilled with nonessential information to raise their scores. Kids are being pushed to take pricy courses. But which is it? Should I work hard or hardly work at these SAT's? Some kids are natually good test takers, but others can't do it to save their lives.
But the essential question is raised why do I need to take the SAT's? One might answer that it's to get into a good college. Especially in this economy you will need every chance to distinguish yourself from other job-seekers. Naturally the more selective the school normally means the more desirable graduate. But when talking to many of the college repressentatives at college fairs, I find that Undecided is one of the most popular majors. College students change their majors at , what seems to be, every possible junction. So why then, if undecided is the new norm, are we placing so much emphasis on the SAT's? You're only going to change your mind.
I agree with what you say, but I believe that there needs to be an assessment of one's abilities at the end of twelve years of schooling in regards to reading, comprehension, spelling, math, etc. Do these abilities make you smarter or a better person? That is open for debate. The SAT is one of many "tools" used to gauge your ability to preform in college, not necessarily life...
A Lee

Clinton, CT

#42 May 31, 2009
This article is very hard to read for me being at the SAT taking age. As a student, I feel that it's important for me to get a good score on my SATs in order to set myself up for the rest of my life. After reading this, I feel like that's all a waste. I chose not to take SAT classes and saying that if I would have, I would have gotten a higher score...compared to what? My PSATs? I really didn't even try on those because it's not that important. Of course it's going to go up. Apparently in this society, money is everything. With more siblings in college, money cannot get everything you want. Why should rich people get the advantage? It's the ones with lots of kids or the ones with less money that should be getting the help becuase with not much money, good grades and a good SAT score, that should qualify for lots of money. I feel that the solution should be to lower tuition. The scholarships that each college give out, should go towards lowering the tuition so more people can afford to go.
Racheal Ouellette

Buzzards Bay, MA

#43 May 31, 2009
I'm a high school student who recently took the SAT's for my first time in May and managed to score a 1600. I suppose this is considered an "average score" for the "average" highschooler though at first i was not truly satisfied for some reason.
There's a ridiculous amount of pressure thrown on students nowadays in regards to the SATs. It's amazing how some of us manage to graduate highschool without a little brown on our noses. SAT scores have become more of a competition amongst student if anything. Constantly prepping and rehearsing and memorizing. It's disgusting, is what it is. School systems have us trained like robots to get the best scores and apply to the best colleges for the best occupations there are out there today. There's no significant learning that really goes on in those systems, everythings just poured in and then spit out come test time.(Kind of like the SATs!)
Reward the kids who have no personal respect with a gold star and place 'em in a good school!!
Paul Barnaby

Port Chester, NY

#44 Jun 1, 2009
This could have been a very interesting piece but you didn't do any research and the piece degenerated into the ramblings of a crazy conspiracy nut. Rich kids go to private schools. Top universities cap the number of kids that come from specific schools. Rich people don't get financial aid. They don't even get to deduct tuition due to AMT. Most middle class people don't get to deduct tuition in CT. Do some research.
Tommy

Ware, MA

#45 Jun 2, 2009
David wrote:
<quoted text>
Would you feel the test is "unfair, elitist and overrated if you had scored highly? The reason so much emphasis has been put on the SAT is because after years of study it has been determined that there is a high correlation between a student's SAT score and their success in college. Extracurricular activities mean nothing in determining a student's ability to grasp and learn course subject matter. This doesn't mean someone won't be successful because they score average on the SAT. The former president of the college I attended, told me he was an average student in college. He succeeded because he worked harder than other people. That is the key. Work hard.
I've filled out many a job application and have yet to see a place to state one's SAT score. However, on almost all applications I've seen requests for descriptions of achievements in school and on previous jobs.
Kassondra Granata

AOL

#46 Jun 2, 2009
I'm a junior in Highschool and taking the SAT's in June. For the past two weeks, I have been preparing myself for the test by going through a practice booklet that I purchased. As I am preparing myself, I feel as if none of it is going to work because of all of the stress that I am encountering while I am preparing. Not only are the SAT's long and agonizing, but it is also stressful for the students taking them because we are in the mind set that if we bomb this, it will greatly affect our future, this test is a hit or a miss. I, myself, am horrible at testing, I undergo stress and pressure to do well, so i second guess myself and sometimes I don't do as well as i expect. Other students agree that SAT's are pointless, but there aren't many options that colleges can take as an alternate for determining your status as a student. Transcripts are not as relevant towards your rank in highschool because it does not nessesarily show your true potential. SAT's are tough and stressful. Not only are you worried about your score, but you are also worried about colleges and financial situations and you are thinking that it all falls down to one score.
Ruth Logan

Clinton, CT

#47 Jun 3, 2009
David wrote:
<quoted text>
Would you feel the test is "unfair, elitist and overrated if you had scored highly? The reason so much emphasis has been put on the SAT is because after years of study it has been determined that there is a high correlation between a student's SAT score and their success in college. Extracurricular activities mean nothing in determining a student's ability to grasp and learn course subject matter. This doesn't mean someone won't be successful because they score average on the SAT. The former president of the college I attended, told me he was an average student in college. He succeeded because he worked harder than other people. That is the key. Work hard.
I cannot personally say if I would have a different view of the SATs if I had done better. I have many friends who took the Test recently and they range in the scores they received. One of my friends did excellent and does not reallly care much about school. I just believe that three and three quater hours spent in one room taking one test should determine if you are eligible to go to a certain university. There are so many other components of a student that should be placed over the SATs (school grades, community involvement, sports, clubs, people skills, etc). I believed this before the test and I continue to believe this.
Ruth Logan

Clinton, CT

#48 Jun 3, 2009
JohnNS wrote:
<quoted text>Maybe, dare I say, and I apologize in advance for hurting you feelings, you are not as intelligent as you think are?
I understand you may feel this way if you do not know me as a person or a student. To some people, maybe I am just a number. But to me, I am a Honors Progam student with good grades(Honor Roll) who tries to balance out school, a sport, and involvement with the community. I just try to be an overall good person, and should not be judged on my score.
brittany Bighouse

East Haven, CT

#49 Jun 3, 2009
I think that the SAT's are highly overrated and that schools should not pick students just upon their SAT scores, because you may have the brightest kid but they may not apply themselfs. Scools should look at grades more just because it reflects their ability to work in a class. Thats basicaly it.
Teachers Pet

United States

#50 Jun 3, 2009
It's really time for the educators of this country to get away from ranking people based on objective testing and move to a system that rates people based on their race, religion, gender, minority status, sexual preference, and if they know a politician who can get them into the school they want. That would be a much fairer system then we have today.
Kevin Hooper

South Windham, CT

#51 Jun 3, 2009
Heya! As a Connecticut student who took the SAT recently, I've gotta say... Biggest crap of my life... haha. people get all bent outta shape over it.. and for what? if you do poorly you can just re-take it.. if you decide the SAT just isn't for you there's the ACT. while some of my peers seem to think its "unfair" that we have to take a test like this... to them i say.. welcome to the real world!! an "A" for effort just doesn't cut it in the workplace.. I'm not saying these students don't deserve good grades, many of them work very hard for what they get.. but in the end... if you work hard but can't produce any real results... nobody will want you... right?

and maybe SAT classes give some students an unfair advantage over others. but you don't need those to study. there are a million books out there on how to "beat" the SAT. and if you honestly think the class is right for you,(first off, don't listen to what the people trying to sell you the service have to say.. of COURSE they're going to tell you that the they're the right choice.. but..) then spend the 3k on it. yeah, its a lot. but if you can't afford that.. then how can you hope to EVER afford college at $40,000 a year? and if you're looking at cheaper colleges.. chances are you don't really need amazing SAT scores to get in.

While at 17 I know I don't hold all of life's answers, but I ask myself what the big deal is sometimes. this test has no importance beyond getting you into college. while there's something to be said for going to a great school... there's also something to be said for being financially responsible! sure, maybe i could go to a decent school. My GPA is somewhere around a 3, and my SAT score was 1900, but i think i'll pass on that one thanks.. i'll go to community college for two years at $3,000-4,000 a year instead then transfer to Uconn to and end up with the same degree they've been paying $20,000 a year for. and really, while your first job or two might be a little under-paid with a weaker degree, eventually your work experience will out weigh the value of that degree as compaines opt for the more experienced worker vs the student fresh out of school. graduating with no debt.. now that sounds like an awesome goal to me...!

.....and maybe a hot sports car with all that money I saved!=D

Rawr!!
Kevin Hooper

South Windham, CT

#53 Jun 3, 2009
David wrote:
I want a test with "empathy"
And I want a cookie, so keep those fingers crossed, buddy!=]
Jessica Maher

Norwich, CT

#54 Jun 4, 2009
As a horrible standardized test taker, I am afraid that in not taking the SAT prep course, I am doomed. SAT tutoring packages starting from 2-3 thousand dollars is a bit ridiculous, even for wealthier families, and I honestly don't believe they are worth it. While it is widely known that having money has advantages in almost every aspect of life, the SAT should not be one of them. Colleges often do look at other things besides the SAT, like grades, letters of reccomendation, and student activities. Even so, test taking shouldn't be about how much money you have to prepare for them, they should be about what you know, and how much you've learned.
Devan Joy

Norwich, CT

#55 Jun 4, 2009
As a student, I believe the SAT, does not accurately portray a students intelligence. Colleges, these days are putting too much emphasis on a test that merely places students into catagories: Smart or not so smart? Some students are not strong test takers and others are. It is not moraly right to judge a student based on a test that they may only have one chance to take. Some students have parents with the money to pay for their child to take the SAT more than once, others do not. This is not a fair test and I think more emphasis should be put on a student's character and effort when it comes to being accepting into college.
Andy Rodrigues

Norwich, CT

#56 Jun 4, 2009
I think SAT's are over rated and truely mean nothing. I took them in May by the last section on the test i was basically dreading being in that room for any longer. Dont really believe it shows much about a student seeing how students who dont get very good grades and end up with 2100 and others who actually work in school get low grades. People stress out to much about this test and i believe it should have no effect on getting into college.
Liz from CT

Cheshire, CT

#57 Jun 4, 2009
I agree with Devan Joy, that the SAT can not possible accurately portray a student intellect. I also agree with most of the people who have posted about how the SAT are an important factor but I do not think it should be as important that it is. I also agree with what Jess Maher said about "While it is widely known that having money has advantages in almost every aspect of life, the SAT should not be one of them." The SAT are designed for upper class white folks, that they would have learned about the math, reading, writing parts but taking well taught, where as an inner city kid might not have learned about it cause of the environment one is learning in, distractions that are preventing them to learn this material. I think people would have a better chance if the SAT won't looked upon so hardly, as they are, as part of the admission process to get into college.
No Name

South Windham, CT

#58 Jun 6, 2009
Liz from CT wrote:
I agree with Devan Joy, that the SAT can not possible accurately portray a student intellect. I also agree with most of the people who have posted about how the SAT are an important factor but I do not think it should be as important that it is. I also agree with what Jess Maher said about "While it is widely known that having money has advantages in almost every aspect of life, the SAT should not be one of them." The SAT are designed for upper class white folks, that they would have learned about the math, reading, writing parts but taking well taught, where as an inner city kid might not have learned about it cause of the environment one is learning in, distractions that are preventing them to learn this material. I think people would have a better chance if the SAT won't looked upon so hardly, as they are, as part of the admission process to get into college.
yet if we do not establish some standard to hold ourselves to, how do you suggest we compare students from different areas? do we just accept lower standards from inner city students? do we admit students with C's and D's into college, yet turn away those with A's and B's because they live in less populated areas? admitting someone to college because they do not have money is just as bad as turning them away because of it.

“Colleges Search Engine ”

Since: Mar 12

www.schoolanduniversity.com

#59 May 10, 2012
Parent wrote:
Smart parents have smart kids and provide them with enriching academic opportunities. So what? Life is unfair.
The SAT is one of several valid qualifications a college can look at to admit students suited to that school. Think athletes who get recruited didn't have parents who spent thousands on elite camps and equipment? Think top musicians didn't have parents who spent tens of thousands for lessons and top flight instruments?
The pursuit of excellence is costly. Parents and children spend their time and money investing in success. They forgo other opportunities and the results are never guaranteed. If someone wants to study for the SAT alone, in a class, or with a tutor no one should have any issues with that. Anyone who wants to can borrow prep books from school or the library and do the same, even if they are poor.
Don't berate parents who want the best for their children.
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