Richmond's Own (but unowned) Website


Yes! SAT's are done with, forever and ever.  Not that I'm done with College Board.  The horrid acron, the harbringer of stress and pain.  Wonderful slew of AP tests to take next year. 

I'm not sure what's worse.  That the basis of higher education in America seems almost totally reliant on a single corporation (well 2, there's the ACT.  But regionally, ACT is middle of the country, SAT is the coasts.  Not a huge amount of choice, espcially if you live in an area where SAT is 2 miles away, and ACT is 20.  Or vice versa.)  Or, that we have all accepted it for this many years. 

Now I understand that colleges like to have some sort of standardized way to compare students, but sometimes I feel the College Board keeps milking us for money.  When you get your answers, they tell you "Students with your score tend to gain __ points when they take it again."  Why not just say "Come take it again, so you can get a couple more points, and we can get a couple more dollars?"  At least it's truthful.  But then it's like - people take the ACT for other subjects?  Let's make subject tests!  Parents send younger kids to take the SAT?  why not make a special test for them, PSAT!  (I'm sure that these weren't the only reasons for making additional tests, but it seems like it to the unsuspecting test taker). 

Plus now, there's a whole industry of test prep books, classes, and more.  And yes, I've fallen into the trap, I have a stack of SAT prep books on my bookshelf.  Though I never really agreed with the SAT classes.  To me, it says that those who have money and can afford it get good SAT scores, and too bad for those who can't.  Should someone who can do more get some sort of reward compared to the person who pays their way?  Or the child who studies at home diligently compared to the one who paid a tutor to come?  Maybe, maybe not, it's not for me to decide how you should think.  Though it seems that if we can pay to get good SAT scores, then it defeats the purpose of the test.  We now have a Scholastic Aptitiude Test that measures neither Scholarship nor Aptitude.  Just test taking skills.  And our continual reliance on them to provide some "standardized comparison" seems biased, as there is no standardized basis in scholarship or aptitude if so many students' scores are determined by money.  The tests seem to promote, well test taking skills, and not actual knowledge.  So I ask is the benefit really worth it for a college to see that we know how to bubble in letters, and write a few paragraphs of meaningless lead marks in 25 minutes if all we're doing is throwing millions of dollars down the drain a year to one corporation that stands to profit from the millions of students who apply to college every year? 

I understand that College Board is a business, and needs to make a profit to survive.  Especially during this economy.  Though maybe not.  Since more people are applying to colleges to be more competitive in the job market, I bet there's an increase in SAT takers. 

I'd like to see, however, what would happen if students across America were to boycott one date of the SAT.  How would College Board respond?  How would the colleges and universities across America respond?  Maybe they wouldn't, knowing that we'd need to take them again the next month.  Or maybe they would stop a moment and use it as an opportunity to change the testing system into a fairer, less monopolitic one, not based on the wealth of the test takers, but the actual scholarship and aptitude of the students taking them. 

Kevin Tian
6/9/2009 03:50:42 am

I understand that the SAT might not be the best to test the abilities/scholarship/aptitude of a student, but there is really no better idea than a standardized test, plus college board does give special testing circumstances to those who need it. And can you elaborate on the part about the "based on the wealth of the test takers"? Because the test is fairly inexpensive, considering it is virtually necessary to get into college. Also, the remark about "the benefit really worth it for a college to see that we know how to bubble in letters, and write a few paragraphs of meaningless lead marks in 25 minutes" is a bit far-fetched even for someone who is in heat after finishing the SAT's. The essay is in fact an acceptably good way to test one's ability to analyze, because the essay is just a 2 step process of coming up with a point and proving it. Of course, exceptional essays will have exceptional depth and analysis, but it all stems from how much you remember learning, because, being an SAT class student myself, SAT classes teach you what classes in school taught you, but with more emphasis on certain elements.

done! =) Not trying to prove you wrong but trying to help you with your arguing skills, so prove me wrong >:O. Kevin out ^.^

Bob Houghton
6/14/2009 03:10:42 am

You make some interesting points. What would be some alternate ways for colleges to predict the likelihood of an applicant's success?

Daniel Lei
3/20/2010 02:46:59 am

I think you're being too idealistic, Richie. but glad you're thinking about these injustices hahaha.
human society is too greedy for collegeboard, or any other corporation, to just stop and make things more "fair" at the cost of losing money. yah, i think its stupid that people who have the money can spends thousands a month to go to a few hour long classes a week/month. and theres the books they sell for those who don't go to classes (which i have bought..haha) yes, the SAT doesnt really do anything anymore except stress students out and make parents spend money needlessly.

theres not really a point with my comment..just agreeing with you haha


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