PRO: Standardizing academics over individuality

Standardized tests: an obstacle course every student seeking to go to college must get past. Because of the immense stress they place on students, their inability to truly measure a student’s ability and how results are dependent on one’s economic status, standardized tests should be removed as a college requirement.

Statistics from College Board show that SAT scores are strongly correlated with a student’s financial situation, as families with higher incomes have the ability to pay for test prep courses or have one-on-one sessions with tutors. With college’s reliance on SAT scores to represent a student’s knowledge, that lack of opportunity enforces a vicious cycle of a less-educated lower class.

Even though test-takers have the ability to take these assessments multiple times, some students are just naturally bad test takers. While these students may not excel in test taking, they can still shine in other areas, whether it be through internships, grades or projects that influence the community. Colleges should focus more on long term achievements, such a healthy GPA over all four years of high school or long-lasting involvement within a club, as these things show dedication and perseverance, important characteristics for college.

The idea that a single test can not only “define” how good of a student you are is not fair in addition to how scholarships are awarded based on a student’s scores. As mentioned before, colleges should focus on more notable achievements and award scholarships to recipients accordingly.

These tests determine how well you know grammar and math topics, namely how much a student has been exposed to this style of testing. Even so, these tests are not always a reliable means of predicting a student’s success in college.

Furthermore, the ability to take advantage of these tests has been shown through a recent case where it was found that parents were paying large amounts of money to have wrong answers corrected on their children’s tests in order to ensure higher scores. This goes to show how corrupt the system can be at times, administering unfair tests so that people can have higher scores than those that take these tests under regular conditions.

Since January 2018, over 1,000 colleges have dropped the requirement to take these assessments, and the number is growing. According to a study done in the same year by the National Public Radio, standardized tests have shown little insight as to how students will perform in college. For example, in George Washington University’s case, there was no correlation to the suggestion that students with higher test scores performed better than those who had not submitted any scores at all.

Another study done by the National Association for College Admission Counseling showed that when compared to their submitting counterparts, those who had not submitted any tests had graduation rates that were equivalent or higher. Other colleges need to follow in the footsteps of schools who have removed that requirement, instead looking at aspects of a student’s education that will truly reflect their ability to succeed.

By no means are standardized tests the only way to determine competency, as there are other paths to take; removing standardized tests altogether is the first step to creating better futures for students and their college journeys.