Should the SAT be optional? College admission scandal arouses questions

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The SAT, or Scholastic Assessment Test, is a test taken by high school students that determines the college that they will get into. A higher grade means a higher college acceptance rate for that student. A lower grade would reduce your chances of getting into a great school such as an ivy league. The SAT is considered to be a gateway to dream colleges. However, recent news revealed that the SAT is actually rigged, containing many methods of cheating. The professional hired to take the SAT, the test administrators paid to look the other way, and the extra time obtained through false diagnoses of disabilities. This has provoked a debate of whether the SAT is even necessary, considering that cheating would be relatively common among both the test takers and supervisors.

The scheme in which wealthy families bribed their way into elite universities raises the question of whether or not the SAT and ACt are fair tests. These tests are supposed to measure the intelligence and understanding of materials in students. If this is the case, then why are there easier ways to “take the SAT” and get into top schools? After this scandal has been exposed, hundreds of colleges have decided to make the SAT or ACT scores optional, in an effort to promote equity and diversity pools. These colleges’ ranks have been increasing by the week.

David Hawkins, executive director for educational content and policy at the National Association for College Admission Counseling, said he expects more colleges will explore going test-optional. “In the long term, the conversation — even without the bribery scandal of a couple of weeks ago — the conversation about access to higher education has been simmering for a long time, and is starting to take shape in a way that we really are examining every aspect of the admission process to understand fully how it either promotes or inhibits access,” he said.

People discovered to be related to this scandal, in terms of bribery, have been charged. Although this bribery is seen to be illegal, many question whether or not tutoring, test preparation, and guidance through the admissions maze are legal or not.

David Coleman, the chief executive of the College Board, which administers the SAT, said he agrees that commercial prep classes have corrupted the test. But he said the solution is not to do away with the tests, which he sees as complementing a student’s high school grades and as a check on grade inflation, which also tends to benefit wealthy students.

In conclusion, the college admissions scandal had many impacts on universities, including students being pulled out of schools, charged, and making the school look bad. However, this event also aroused the question of whether or not the SAT is a fair test or not, and whether or not it should even be necessary for college applicants.

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