The Bull's Eye

Justified monopoly on testing

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Justified monopoly on testing

Cartoon courtesy of James Tsao

Cartoon courtesy of James Tsao

Cartoon courtesy of James Tsao

College Board. Who doesn’t ardently admire the services they provide to all students? As they are a non-profit organization, we should all feel confident that we are sending money to a just cause each time we apply for tests that might help us get into the college of our dreams.  

Prior to taking the SAT, I pay a reasonable $48 for the actual test and an additional $17 for the optional essay that’s required by most colleges. Every time I arrive to take my test, I’m delighted when hundreds of students flood in to take these tests, reassured that they all have sufficient funds to continue donating to College Board.

With this August SAT being my eighth time taking the exam, I’ve seen my share of  test proctors. Each seems to have their own unique way of overseeing the exam. I’m relieved when I see that after having collected our phones, the proctors are dutifully checking their own phones. Are they reviewing guidelines to ensure that even they too follow the testing rules? Clearly, there’s no need to walk up and down the aisles; student cheating is unheard of.

While some students complain about irrelevant things, such as the blasting AC and small tables, these never bother me. The conditions are perfect to me as I passionately fill out each bubble, envisioning the 1600 that awaits me.

At the end of each section, I’m always so thankful when the proctor announces their generous 30-second warning to ensure that I have had sufficient time to properly bubble in all of my answers.

A few days after the exam, I was shocked to hear claims that the test was merely an old one that some students had access to. Surely this was a simple misunderstanding; and does it really make a difference? The College Board has been around for over a century—they would never allow this mistake to happen since they are in the business of creating new tests.  

And the June test where students whined about the “unfair” curve? That made me scoff.  Students that were docked 30 points off for getting one problem wrong on the math section obviously deserved the score they received. It’s audacious that students even bothered to file an online petition to demand a rescore of the June SAT scores.

Let’s face it, College Board generously allows students to retake the exam as many times as they want, as long as they pay another small donation of $64, giving everyone an equal opportunity to achieve that perfect 1600 on the SAT and 24 on the essay portion.

With all the quality services College Board provides, why would people wish for an alternative organization? Who could possibly match its virtuous goal of “connecting students to college success and opportunity”?

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