The faults in SAT and ACT’s


Juan Miguel Adams

STATUS QUO HAS TO GO. The socioeconomic and racial bias behind the SAT and ACT mean they simply aren’t good measures of student achievement.

Higher education has long utilized SAT and ACT as a standard for potential educational success, creating extreme importance on individual scoring. According to CurveBreakers, a test prep and tutoring site, “The significance of these test scores can be approximated to 30% of an overall decision and is especially valuable in awarding scholarship money.”

Colleges such as Georgetown University (a college having both tests mandatory) state, “we require submission of SAT and/or ACT scores as part of our holistic application review process.” this is to say that without standardized scores available for review, it would be to miss an essential ingredient in the recipe which would diminish their ability to assess their applicants.

Georgetown University’s belief that the SAT and ACT can not be left out, else they will miss a side of their applicant, is hypocritical in that standardized tests leave no room for creative thinking and only deem a question right or wrong at best; they can evaluate rote knowledge of math, science, and English. The test does not assess creativity, problem-solving, critical thinking, artistic ability, or other areas of expertise that cannot be judged by scoring a sheet of paper.

Stu Schmill, MIT alumni and director of parent, student, and young alumni programs, states, “Our research shows standardized tests help us better assess the academic preparedness of all applicants” When discussing MITs recent reinstatement of SAT and ACT requirements.

MITs reasoning for its most recent reinstatement of SAT and ACT requirements is vague and biased. Specifically, they do not present evidence that SAT and ACT better assess academic preparedness versus other measurements such as grade point average.

The SAT and ACT can no longer be utilized for higher education because they are neither socioeconomic-friendly nor accurately measure one’s intelligence.”

The origin of the SAT and ACT are those created by psychologist Carl Brigham, Ph.D., for the Army during World War 1. Army tests were explicitly created to segregate soldiers by race because, at the time, science inaccurately linked intelligence and race. However, racial bias still has not been stripped from the SAT and ACT. Young Whan Choi, manager of Performance Assessments Oakland Unified School district in Oakland, California, explains, “Too often, test designers rely on questions which assume background knowledge more often held by White, middle-class students” To say that someone was in the 83rd percentile and some are at the 43rd percentile and the reason you do that is so you can make judgments among these applicants. But to do so, you have to make sure the test has a spread of scores. One of the ways to have that test create a spread of scores is to limit items in the test to socioeconomic variables because socioeconomic status is a nicely spread-out distribution.

The SAT and ACT can no longer be utilized for higher education because they are neither socioeconomic-friendly nor accurately measure one’s intelligence. The CLT, or the Classic Learning Test, is a much more reliable, socioeconomic-friendly test in contrast to the SAT and ACT. CLT exams are based on enduring concepts accessible to students from a variety of educational backgrounds. In addition, the quantitative reasoning section of the CLT stands out among college entrance exams because it places a higher emphasis on logic and reasoning skills.

ACT? SAT? The choice seems clear. CLT.