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  • Writer's pictureDina

In Defense of SAT/ACT

Recently, the UCs decided to cancel ACT and SAT scores from college admissions. Although the report of the University Academic Committee came to the exact opposite conclusion, it still made this decision. The Senate cited research showing that these tests actually help systematic campuses to identify talented low-income or minority students.

Of course, these two exams are never perfect, and they are never intended to be the only criteria for admitting students. In fact, few colleges and universities use them alone when deciding whether to admit students. For decades, standardized tests have combined their transcripts, essays, creative projects, extracurricular activities or teacher recommendations to effectively determine students’ college readiness, which is why they are widely used by colleges and universities at all levels, and most of the United States people. They are confident in both tests, although some have drawbacks.

If these two tests have big flaws and problems in accurately assessing students' academic preparation, who can determine the best results for high school transcripts, extracurricular activities, and student essays? When 50% of high school graduates get an A, would anyone say that they are more accurate in assessing students' academic preparation? What if the document is written by someone else? What if the event is fictitious or exaggerated?

Emphasizing the effectiveness and practicality of standardized tests does not hide their shortcomings. It shows that despite its shortcomings, it is often used as an important criterion for college admissions in most countries. For example, Japan uses the National Central University Entrance Exam, which is held on a weekend in January each year for two days. If a student loses it, they must wait one year before they can participate again. Koreans take the College Academic Aptitude Test (CSAT) in November. The test is widely accepted because of its efficiency, effectiveness, and emphasis on advantages. Finns combine the Finnish university preparatory exams with the exams and other advantages of each university to admit students. Singapore does not have its own national test, but instead relies on the ACT or SAT designed by the United States. Contrary to these standard tests, the United States does not have its own nationally designed tests. This should make citizens wonder why the United States does not have its own national tests.

Regarding allegations that wealthy and well-educated families have the resources to allow their children to take tests to improve their children's grades and that high SAT and ACT scores are related to the family's wealth and education from the student, it's hard for most people to accept that this is the reason for the exam cancellation. Wealthy families have every right to use their own resources to help their children take the test. It is not logical to cancel these two exams due to differences in family income and parental education. Although it is reasonable to emphasize equality of opportunity, it is unrealistic to emphasize equality of results. Given the diversity of race, gender, culture and income in the United States, it is almost impossible to demand absolute equality.

If you choose not to participate or cancel the ACT and SAT, a wrong message will also be sent to students. When academically advanced students are not proud of themselves, when they are called nerds and isolate themselves at school, this fully demonstrates our culture and our value as a country. He said test scores, great results, and competitive awards aren't as popular as popularity. While education is generally seen as an equalizer and an important tool in lifting students and their families out of poverty, blaming society for all family and personal suffering, wealthy or well-educated Asians promote no one. Rather, they cause our students to fall behind in courses like math, statistics, and engineering.

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