The SAT should be abolished as a method of determining admission into college. It is a poor indicator of how well somebody performs in college. I base my argument on personal experience.
In 1975, my parents divorced, and I took the SAT at that time. At the time, my concentration was poor, my sleep erratic, and I didn’t care about the results of the test. I recall taking the test, and remember hearing that the best answer on the test was to answer “B”, so this answer was given for the vast majority of questions.
I didn’t have the patience for the test, and when I didn’t know the answer, I answered with the choice of “B”. Distracted due to family problems, I scored poorly. In fact, I did so horribly on the test, that it was predicted by the test results, that if I attended college, I would achieve a D-, in school performance.
I wasn’t a very good high school student, far more interested in socializing with peers, than any application of real study, and I must admit attended college, only to get away from my home environment, and away from parents battling through a messy divorce.
Off i went to a college that would accept anybody, as a student. During my first semester, I had a B average. Not great, but certainly not the D- average that had been predicted on the SAT test.
After one semester of college, I transferred to another college, and was accepted based on my performance at the first college. I received straight A’s, through the remainder of my school years.
Throughout college, I was told that I was highly creative, and had an ability to write well. Since I had performed so poorly on the SAT, i suffered from a self esteem problem, as I didn’t believe i was really capable of performing well in school, and convinced myself, that I did well, only because I was “lucky”.
Later, I attended graduate school, and while I performed better on the graduate record exam than on the SAT test, I was still convinced that my performance in school was only because of a “fluke”. After all, the SAT had predicted I would do poorly.
By the time I had finished the first semester of college, my parents had run out of money, battling this messy divorce, and so I was left to my own resources. I diligently found grants, work study programs, and scholarships, and applied for all. Not only did I complete college, using my own resources, I was able to pay for college, borrowing less than $1000.00, for the six years of schooling.
I might add that I graduated with an undergraduate degree from a very well respected University, and one that would not have accepted me with my SAT scores from high school. I graduated with honors. The same was true about the school in which I had received my masters degree. Both were excellent schools, and schools in which I paid tuition and room and board, using my own resources.
Since graduating college, I have earned rights to one patent, two trademarks, and have owned, and operated multiple businesses. The SAT was a poor predictor of my performance in school or in life, as I excelled far better, than the SAT had predicted. The one notion that I did gain from this test, was that I wasn’t able, or capable of high performance. Is this really the lesson we wish to teach our students? How many students sit down, and take this exam, under similarly stressful situations?
The SAT does not test school performance, it measures how well somebody performs on a standardized test. Isn’t it time we challenge students to develop creativity? Wouldn’t a better predictor of school performance be how motivated a student is to perform in school, rather than how well they do on a standardized test? Doesn’t it make more sense to evaluate how resourceful a student will be?
The SAT should be abolished as a deciding factor, for college admission. It is a poor indicator of school performance, because test performance does not measure school performance. There are many factors that shape how well somebody does in school. Don’t make the SAT one of them.