The SATs- The Student Affluent Test
The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SATs) should be abolished based on the accessibility upper class families, like Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin, have to beneficial tutoring outlets- or bribing tactics that work, which middle and low class families do not have. The recent college admissions scandal involving Huffman and Loughlin, is a reminder of how easy it is for privileged young adults to bribe their way into prestigious colleges such as Yale University, Georgetown University, Stanford University, UCLA and USC.
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. 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 (How I Learned to Take the SAT Like a Rich Kid).
Based on the resources available to 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 tests of their lives. It’s not surprising that a study found that students with private tutors performed significantly better after being tutored. 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.
It’s also a poor representative of college readiness. 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. Marco Greensburg states this perfectly, “students whose mediocre SAT’s and excellent grades make them better equipped to run the marathon of university life than a Saturday-morning sprint called the SAT” (Is it Time to Abolish the SAT?). Research on college admissions has also confirmed that standardized test scores are weak predictors of how students can perform in college, compared to high school grades (The Big Problem With The New SAT).
Yes, Khan Academy is free to everyone and is a studying option for those accessible to a computer, but it’s no one-on-one tutor. Khan first started as a math tutor which is apparent once his SAT reading and writing portion is analyzed. The answers are general and unhelpful, and a personal tutor with experience would be the obvious choice between the two. Additionally, students should practice the way they play, so preparing from a screen is very different from taking a test with paper and a pencil.
Ironically, parents like Huffman and Loughlin who are completely well off, resorted to illegal activity to get ahead even though they can afford equally unfair methods such as private tutoring that deserving under-privileged students can not afford. These parents are stealing spots away from students who actually have more aptitude to be in the school.
Huffman and Loughlin, two television actresses, took a deceitful path in admitting their kids to college that most families do not have the capability of doing. Using money to bribe the way into college and paying for weekly tutoring sessions, preparatory camps, and SAT seminars are not much different. Neither of which are getting the student admitted to college solely based on the knowledge they already have.
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 and families like these have the means to legally cheat on the SATs by paying for tutoring-something not all families can afford, but they’re so wealthy they’ll just pay someone to cheat for them.
The abolition of the SATs would level the playing field- which was its original purpose that it failed at. 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 and suffering because they can not afford the best options or any options at all.