The Outdated Standardized Tests

Tests as Old as Time Meet Their End

Emma Wahlsten, Staff Writer

The ACT and SAT are as old as dirt, time, and sliced bread.  These ancient tests, specifically designed to test students’ aptitude, have been around since when? . Allegedly, they tell kids whether or not they are intelligent enough to get into specific colleges. 

Every student has a different background and different capabilities, which makes these tests extremely flawed. But they are now more unfair and untrue than ever before since COVID-19 continues to affect the tests and students’ abilities to take the tests. Although the majority of colleges, private and public alike have gone “test-optional”, that is not enough.

These tests should be abolished and the scores should not matter. Scores do not tell colleges how hard students work or how intelligent they are. Instead, they tell them the opportunities students did or did not have growing up, or the amount of fear that overwhelms some of us while taking a test. Students should not be judged on their shaky hands or missed opportunities. 

The country has become more economically diverse, giving some students an advantage over their peers. The parents that can afford to have their children take the test five or six times give their child an automatic advantage over those who can only afford to take it once. Also, the parents who can afford a specialized tutor for their child give them another leg up over the children who have to go into the tests with the limited resources they have access to.

Now, with COVID, the economic divide is not the only factor holding students back from doing their best on these tests. Personally, I have had three of my tests canceled. I have not yet had the opportunity to take a standardized test that has given me a score. So not only am I struggling to get in to take a single test, I am bound to the score on that single test no matter how I do. Now, I am driving six hours east into a different state to take this stressful, pointless test

Going test-optional is a solution to this problem. However, it has its own cons. Test optional means that schools will not require a score, but it is still considered in the application process. Some schools even claim they are test-optional, but a score is still required to apply for merit scholarships. In my opinion, schools need to go test blind.  They should select students based on their capacity for greatness and willingness to try, not their ability to regurgitate information a tutor or the internet gave them.