Browse By

The SAT: reliable or irrelevant?

For nearly a century, the SAT has been used by colleges and universities throughout the world as a major benchmark in determining which students to select for admission. Despite its rival, the ACT, gaining popularity in several states throughout the Midwest, the SAT is the test of choice in the East Coast and West Coast with nearly 1.7 million students taking it each year.

However, in recent years, several SAT tests, including the test administered last August, have been leaked prior to the testing date. This has caused controversy among parents and students on whether it’s fair for colleges to consider scores earned on these leaked SAT tests when selecting students for admission. Because it’s no longer an accurate measure of student readiness for college, it’s more than fair to say that the SAT should no longer play a major role in admissions. In fact, some universities such as the University of Chicago have even given students the option to apply admission without taking the SAT.

The August SAT epitomizes why the SAT is not a fair measure that should be used for college admissions: the Washington Post stated that the College Board had reused the international test from Oct. 2017 for the August testing date. This allegedly led to a large number of students gaining an unfair advantage on the test as multiple sections had been leaked online prior to the testing date.

Because of this, one parent filed a class-action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Florida against the College Board and the Educational Testing Service, the administrator of the SAT, alleging that the College Board violated its “fiduciary duty by recycling old exam questions, including those that have been publicly disseminated prior to the SAT exam.”

Since the College Board allegedly knew that it was reusing a test from another testing date, it should be held responsible for promoting an unfair advantage for some students. Despite the College Board making $62 million in profit each year, the organization had chosen not to make a completely new test. Thus, the organization has not only encouraged unfair testing, but also wasted the money of thousands of students who took the SAT on Aug. 25.

Not to mention, an internal study conducted at Ithaca College showed that test score information did not enhance a college’s ability in identifying how successful applicants would be as college students.

Because of its inability to provide a precise measurement of intellect and a lack of refinement from the College Board, the SAT should not play any role in college admissions.