The SAT/ACT is a Scam

Everyone hates them.

Ella Lesesne, Staff Writer

The SAT/ACT are virtually mandatory for college admissions within the United States – but are they truly a measure of scholastic aptitude, or just a financial scam? The current cost to take the SAT is set at $47.50, and ACT at $50.50, however this is omitting a potential $26 registration fee or $15 fee to include the additional essay portion of the tests. Not to mention, the College Board only offers the option to send scores to colleges free of charge BEFORE the actual scores come out, which students are naturally not inclined to do due to the fact that students will not want to send scores to their desired colleges without knowledge of their performance. This forces students to spend $11.25-$16.50 per school for score sends. Not to mention that the SAT and ACT’s dates for registration stop the day before scores from the previous test come out, forcing students to sign up with the late registration fee if they want to sign up for the following test. Students will not know previous scores before deciding to sign up for the next available test, causing them to spend more money than necessary whether they sign up for the following test without knowing scores, or paying the late fee after scores are made available. There are so many things wrong with the SAT and ACT, but the worst is the amount that the U.S. education system has allowed these two tests to weigh into the outcome of college decisions and scholarship money. It has been proved that the SAT is not reflective of mental aptitude or potential, as psychologist Claude Steele pointed out that the test only has been found to measure around 18 percent of what it takes to do well in school, and therefore is not an adequate predictor of how a student will perform in college. Using standardized tests like the SAT and ACT to be predictors of college success does not take into account motivational issues or study skills – factors that can be vital in acing a college course. No one single test can predict a students’ success, yet it is the key to college admissions and can hinder a student with average timed test taking skills who has an extremely strong work ethic and self motivation, yet can value a lazy and careless student that happens to do well on standardized tests. Overall, the College Board and ACT have a monopoly on the college admissions process and the importance placed on their tests should be emphasized much less.