SAT: Student Affluence Test Do we need the SAT for college admissions?

By Tanisha Singh | Staff Writer

In 1933, Henry Chauncey started a scholarship program to look for academically excelling school boys. Eventually, this idea of an intelligent-based test to collect scholarships became the SAT. But times have changed. We are not actually evaluating a student’s academic capabilities; we are evaluating their abilities to gain resources. Colleges should not consider SAT scores to evaluate academic potential because there is an unequal opportunity to excel on the test and it fails to accurately judge a student’s ability to succeed in college.

The SAT is a biased means of evaluating student academic merit because it favors those with higher income. According to Josh Zumbrun of the Wall Street Journal, last year students of a higher income bracket scored higher on the test than those of a lower income bracket. Children from families with an annual income of $200,000 scored above 1700, while children from families with annual incomes of $90,000 scored below 1500. Clearly, money has an effect on the services a parent can provide for his or her student to reach the top scores on the SAT. There are many students who have the potential to score higher yet do not have the money to attend test prep classes and purchase materials. It is clearly unfair to prioritize the student’s SAT scores in college admissions.

Furthermore, a student’s efforts on the SAT may vary drastically from their efforts at school overall. GPA is a great way to monitor a student’s progress academically with courses throughout high school; the SAT fails to produce the same effect. No one can be certain how a test will turn out since the test is taken in one sitting, and it is not fair to evaluate a student’s merit with one score.

Colleges want to use the SAT for academic merit because this test seems to be an unbiased nationwide evaluation of all students. However, different schools and teachers have their own methods of teaching: some schools may stress the importance of test-taking while others may not, creating a divide among the students nationwide. The SAT does not accurately give a nationwide view of student’s academic capabilities.

Colleges should not put SAT testing into consideration when selecting students during the admissions process. This test was reasonable when it existed to provide scholarships, but now it only serves as a biased method of separating students within their own society.