Writing Plan- smellycat

Thesis: The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SATs) should be abolished based on the accessibility upper class families have to beneficial tutoring outlets that middle and low class families do not have, for being a poor representative of college readiness, and for ranking students against other test takers and not an academic standard.

Background and Evidence

The recent college admissions scandal involving Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin is a reminder of how easy it is for privileged young adults to be admitted into prestigious colleges such as Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA and USC.

Huffman and Loughlin are among the many dishonest and cheating parents that have the means to spend up to $6.5 million dollars in bribing admissions officers, coaches, and proctors. A plethora of students have been admitted into college this way and it is not fair. The access wealthy families have to send their children to school is ridiculous.

The SATs should be terminated because it does not measure aptitude, but how well a student can prepare for the test while thousands of dollars are being spent on tutors.

Based on the resources open for upper class families regarding SAT preparation, the Scholastic Aptitude Test should be called the Student Affluent Test. The more money families have, the more options they have to prepare their children for one of the biggest test of their lives. The SAT launches all possible options for potential careers for a student. As a 17 year old student, it feels like life or death because one test can decide your fate, but middle and low class families do not get to have the same options to prepare their children for this life altering test.

The abolition of the SAT would benefit every household, especially the families whose dollars are being stolen from expensive tutors, summer camps, and online programs. How fair is a test anyway if the ones who score better were tutored and can afford it? Middle and low income families are at a complete disadvantage because they can not afford the best options or any options at all.

Sources I Have Found

The Big Problem With The New SAT

A solution to the unfair SAT Test would be replacing it with a criterion based test which measures what a student knows about a given subject. Unlike the SAT, where students are being ranked against each other as a statistic on a bell curve, a Criterion-Referenced test would asses a student’s performance based on a fixed academic standard. Additionally, answering a few more questions right can substantially increase a student’s score which increases their rankings. Research on college admissions, “has repeatedly confirmed that test scores, as compared to high school grades, are relatively weak predictors of how students actually perform in college.”

Is it Time to Abolish the SAT?

Universities have assigned students numbers for their own convenience by providing us with the useless SAT. Grades which have been gathered over four years in an environment similarly structured to college, proves a student is better equipped to handle college, rather than a four hour test.

How I Learned to Take the SAT Like a Rich Kid

The SATs is a gimmick intended to swallow all of our money. In order to do well in life, one must prepare; similarly for the SATs, students get tutored. The question is: can everyone afford tutoring? Students growing up in affluent families can afford a $10,000 summer program dedicated to the Scholastic Aptitude Test while middle and low income households are not as fortunate. Even sitting for the PSATs costs money that families can not afford. Students are getting tutored and getting a preview of the test before other students see the test once.

Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman: 1 Scandal, 2 Actresses, Diverging Paths

Ms. Huffman paid $15,000 to William Singer, a college consultant who had an organization that accepted bribes to help parents get their kids into reputable colleges, to have someone secretly correct her daughter’s answers on the SATs. Ms. Loughlin paid Mr. Singer a total of $500,000 through his alleged charity to present her daughters as athletes.

Sources I Haven’t Found

  • I would like to find evidence proving tutoring improves test scores and that upper class students perform better on the SATs compared to lower class citizens.
  • More reasons why grades are more representative of intelligence and college readiness than the SATs.

Counterarguments I Need to Refute

Khan academy is a free and accessible tool to everyone to study for the SATs.

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3 Responses to Writing Plan- smellycat

  1. smellycat23 says:

    Can I have feedback if you get a chance?


    • davidbdale says:

      I’m impressed, smellycat. You have a solid plan here, and you’ve posted early! I will return later today with additional feedback, but my first recommendation is that your topic is a little stale, and that you’ll need to find a more timely (recent) event or article to respond to. Op-Ed space is precious and limited, so editors buy pieces that are timely, not perennial

      I have a suggestion. You can probably think of one too.

      The recent scandal of wealthy celebrities (Felicity Huffman, Laurie Loughlin) buying their kids entry into prestigious colleges is very fresh and re-raises age-old questions like yours. Taking a course to improve SAT scores isn’t QUITE the same as bribing admissions officers, but it IS just another way wealthy families can game the admissions system.

      What is the SAT test supposed to measure? The ability to score well on a standardized test with months to prepare? NO. It’s supposed to measure APTITUDE to learn and understand new material. Tutors and prep courses undermine the system, and both are more available to students of means.

      So you could say the current scandal simply reminds you that rich kids have always had an edge, even before their parents started buying their out-of-shape non-athletic kids a spot onto the varsity crew squad to earn a scholarship.

      Sound reasonable?
      Do you have other specific questions?
      Or shall I just continue to wing it?


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