S-A-T? More like S-A-D!

The SAT Reasoning test has been a massive weight on students’ shoulders since 1926. The comprehensive, multi-hour, saturday-waster exam has a major effect on admissions into college, and hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent on prep-classes and one-on-one tutoring each year. Conceptually, the SAT is a great idea. One test is administered for a relatively low price (that can be lowered for students in need) at reasonable locations around America. It is the same test for all students, and those who get higher scores are seen as those who are probably more prepared for the intensity of college classes, due to their success at the high school level. The SAT also provides opportunities, scholarships, and grants to students with high-achieving profiles. It is an objective metric. And besides, the SAT is not nearly as high-stress as the Chinese Gaokao, where Chinese students study for literal years for one exam that determines their future of higher learning fully. However, the actual execution of the SAT is faulty and defective. One could even say “shady.”

The SAT has been proven to directly correlate to socioeconomic class. Students with families with larger disposable incomes and whose parents had higher education are much more likely to perform well. This is largely because they are in an environment where academics, and performing well, are an expectation, and parents can provide them with premium preparatory classes and tutors. In fact, according to Dr. Michelle Hernandez, co-founder of Top-Tier Admissions, “Students from affluent areas spend $15,000 and up on SAT prep and top SAT tutors in New York command $500-$1000 an hour.” Ten lessons, and you’ve already gone over in-state tuition for most state universities. Ten lessons, and you could have bought 8,333.3 crunchy tacos from Taco Bell.

The SAT Reasoning test isn’t an accurate aptitude test, either. The SAT has basic mathematical questions, primarily from Geometry and Algebra 1. The SAT writing section has been proven to be faulty- it is known that the SAT gives more points for length rather than content or structure. The SAT rewards rapidity and endurance rather than in-depth thinking and thought-out problem solving, a problem that has not been addressed from the Collegeboard or elite schools. If you’re a slow reader, or have bad test anxiety, yikes, good luck.

Besides, if a student can spend his time doing other productive things rather than all that studying, maybe they can begin to discover and develop their passions, which is the entire point of even going to high school. How can we figure out how to cure cancer, how to create world peace and bridge nations together, if we’re too busy studying math that we learned in middle school? S-A-T? More like S-A-D!