Standardized Testing In College Admissions

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The use of standardized testing is ancient, dating back to the practice of making government prospects in China take examinations in order to test their knowledge of Confucian philosophy and poetry (Fletcher 2009). The idea of using standardized testing in college admissions first appeared with the introduction of the SAT in 1926, followed by the ACT, created in 1959. Growing in popularity, both tests were incorporated into the admissions process at many different universities across the nation. In more recent times, many people have questioned the relevance of standardized test scores as a major factor in admitting students into a university. This is due to the idea that standardized tests are not a suitable way to measure a student’s intellectual …show more content…

First of all, many students feel as if getting a high score will allow them to achieve admission into their college of choice. This puts immense pressure on students taking the tests, often leading to an obsession with doing well. The goal of education does not become learning in order to apply knowledge into actual life, but instead getting the best possible score on standardized tests. This then leads to many students feeling less than if their standardized test schools do not comply with their personal standards or to their peers’ achievements. Raymond A. Brown, Dean of Admissions at Texas Christian University, stated in a column how, “students are vesting high amounts of self-esteem in the results of the standardized exams we use in the college admission process: the SAT and the ACT.” He describes this phenomenon as an “epidemic” and identifies it as a major flaw in our academic system. Especially since a lot of the time low SAT or ACT scores are not due to a lack of intelligence, but instead to test anxiety, nervousness, large amounts of pressure, or other factors. This undying desire to succeed on standardized tests is causing major problems in many teens’ lives that would be absent without the mentality that succeeding on standardized tests is a major way to gain admission into a …show more content…

Unfortunately, in practice standardized tests still favor people belonging to the upper middle and high class. According to the letter from Hampshire college president Jonathan Lash, “SATs/ACTs are strongly biased against low-income students and students of color, at a time when diversity is critical to our mission.” Primarily, this is because people of a higher class in the United States have access to more tools in order to help them prepare for and succeed on the test. A lot of the ways many kids prepare for the SAT is by getting a tutor or attending preparation classes. However, these services can be extremely expensive and difficult to access for people of a lower class. For example, the popular company, The Princeton Review, has ACT preparation classes with other students ranging from about, minimally, $300 to $1700. Many low income families simply do not have the funds to provide students with the ability to take these classes and therefore, going into the college admissions process, students from low income families are at an even bigger disadvantage. Additionally, many scholars revealed standardized testing as culturally biased; favoring white students over minorities. Psychology

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