ACT and SAT Test Should Be Elminated

Remi Ragland, Staff Writer

Your heart is pounding as time quickly flies by. Your arm aches from holding a blunt No. 2 pencil. Your future depends on this one moment, and you cannot mess up. This is exactly how many students feel when taking ACT and SAT tests for college. Although they have been used for years as a way to judge applicants to admit into a certain school, the tests and their processes are unfair, unnecessary, and unrepresentative. 

Tests are not clear representations of a student’s academic skill and intelligence. Instead, they are simply a measurement of how good a student is at taking a test. Test-taking requires learned strategies and ignores the variation of things like students’ time management skills or anxiety levels. Immense pressure surrounding the outcome of a test may affect the test-taker’s ability to take ample time and focus on the material. A student may know many of the answers, but have a difficult time moving quickly through the questions or keeping themselves calm. On the other hand, a student who does better on the ACT/SAT may simply just be better at or more familiar with taking tests and memorizing material and strategies. Although this may be true, colleges still use scores to judge students and their potential at their university. 

Many students who take the ACT or SAT prepare through tutoring to help them on the test. This tutoring is expensive and requires consistent and scheduled time. Although tutoring is proven to be beneficial, many who are impoverished may not have this same opportunity. It is unfair that because some people have more access to money, they are able to take advantage of more resources, and most likely, perform better on a test. The same applies for those who are too busy to schedule weekly tutoring. 

There are many ways colleges can get to know their applicants besides a simple test score. Grades show effort, progresion, and development through many years of a student’s academic career. Essays and short-response questions give them an opportunity to show their personality, recognize important life events or challenges, and connect the college to the student in a better way. These all show the students’ character and give the college or university a better idea of who the student truly is and if they will fit well in their institution. Testing simply measures a one-time ability to finish questions under pressure, much of which may be rehearsed and practiced, therefore, not being an accurate representation of the student. 

Many colleges and universities have chosen to be test blind or test optional recently due to circumstances under COVID-19. This has enabled much more flexibility and time for students to focus on admissions material that actually matters. It also has relieved the already immense stress that young teens endure when graduating high school including deciding between colleges, keeping grades up, working, and much more. Other colleges should strongly consider removing the requirement of the ACT/SAT in order to create stronger and more personable admissions policies. They should question the true authenticity and effectiveness of tests while recognizing how they can truly pick the best students for their school.