As a high school junior, I feel the stress more than ever with school. I find myself spending countless hours a day doing homework, studying for that math test and even studying for a test that I have been told "determines which college I will attend."
I find it ridiculous that so many colleges base success off of a nationwide test. Yes, it puts every student on the same level, but people have different levels of intelligence. The questions asking a student "Which word best fits?" or "How many degrees are in this angle?" seem like they can cost a student the difference between an education at an Ivy League school or a public college. I am sure colleges look at a student's GPA, letters of recommendation (if you are lucky) and volunteerism, but it seems like the vast majority only care about test grades, whether they want to admit it or not.
I understand schools are trying to weed out the applicants, but a student with a 3.3 GPA and 1650 on the SAT is just as capable than the student with a 4.0 and a 2200 on the SAT. Yes, it may seem like that one student definitely outweighs the other, but what if the student is not a test-taker? Why should anyone be denied admission to an Ivy League school just because he or she did not meet the school's average SAT score? Besides, what do these tests prove even when the student does well? Absolutely nothing, but congratulations! You can take a test! Who cares? One would think colleges would want to see the full package of a student.
I will be taking the SATs in June and have prepared for months taking numerous practice tests, which still will not guarantee how well I will do. It seems like the questions on both the SAT and ACT get more and more outrageous every year. What is the test actually measuring, anyway? Is it our ability to solve an angle or how well we studied a dictionary? I believe the test just adds more stress to a student's life.
However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Many colleges are starting to shy away from accepting either the SAT or ACT and instead, are adding essays or supplements to better determine who gets accepted. This link gives the colleges that allow students to attend without submitting either the SAT or ACT. If schools are starting to realize just how pointless these tests are becoming, maybe they will once be eliminated entirely as far as the college process goes.
Next year, students will be given the SAT scored out of 1600 and are making it essay-optional. A few new questions were unveiled from what we can expect on the new SAT and it does not look easy. How far can we go before enough is enough? Nowadays, from age five, kids are given tests every year until the end of their high school career and after depending if they choose to get their degree and go to college.
Studies have shown that there has been a significant decrease in college enrollment. Students are finding other ways to work; they might go to a trade school, or work for their friend's company and not need a four-year degree, but rather a certificate or nothing at all. People can be taught a job without going to college. Obviously, that's not to say if you want to be a doctor you do not need to go to medical school -- you still have to go -- but there is a huge shift in what high school graduates are doing.
We are living in a world where sadly, it is believed everything is based off of what you know. I see a shift in that it is not what you know, it is who you know.
You can follow me on Twitter (@kaitk96) and let me know what you think about the SAT/ACT.