Etched in Stone

Fed up & messed up: SAT/ACT

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Photo Credit: Tess Allen

Photo Credit: Tess Allen

Photo Credit: Tess Allen

Tess Allen

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Every year thousands of juniors and seniors stress and suffer over the realization that they have to get a good SAT and ACT score to make it into a good college, and I am one of those students.

I tend to be a pretty good student in most of my subjects, but when it comes to any kind of test, I break down. I have moderate to severe test anxiety, depending on the day. My grades and GPA don’t reflect my abilities or my potential because I don’t do well on tests. Going to a good school is one of my biggest dreams, and I fear that my SAT and ACT scores will reduce my chances of getting into a great college. Standardized testing tests a student’s performance on one particular day and does not take into account other factors. For example, if a student has an argument with their parents the morning of the test, chances are their focus isn’t going to be where it should be.

With my anxiety particularly, I can study hours upon hours for a test and know it perfectly the night before, and when the test is put in front of me, my mind goes blank. With the SAT/ACT I am even more fearful because I don’t have anything specific to study, and there is so much content to cover. I am afraid that I am going to cram myself with so much, that my anxiety will slowly break me down.

Standardized tests don’t have diversity. There are a wide range of differences in the people who take standardized tests:  they have different cultural backgrounds, different levels of proficiency in the English language, different learning and thinking styles, different family backgrounds, different past experiences. Yet the standardized test treats them as if they were all identical; identical to the group that took the test several years ago.

There is a simple solution for these problems with standardized tests and the SAT/ACT: get rid of it all together. Honestly, no one would suffer from taking it away because the only point of normal standardized tests are to see how much the students have learned and to evaluate how the teachers have been doing. The teachers can simply see how the students are doing from tests that they already take in the classes. If schools take away the SAT/ACT colleges can simply look at the application and the student’s grades and it would be just fine. If this were to ever change, it would take so much weight off of students shoulders.

The college application process is very stressful as it is, adding life changing tests on top of it can make a student break. Admissions officers need to focus on the student as an all-around person, not a test score.

1 Comment

One Response to “Fed up & messed up: SAT/ACT”

  1. Kaitlyn Philavanh on February 1st, 2018 11:26 pm

    This was a wonderfully written, and very truthful article, and I enjoyed reading it!

    [Reply]

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Fed up & messed up: SAT/ACT