Should Standardized Tests be Phased Out?

With SATs optional due to COVID-19, some colleges are dropping them permanently


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Some consider standardized tests unfair due to the advantage that students have if they are able to purchase SAT and ACT prep books or take preparatory classes.

Florence Cope, Variety Co-Editor

Standardized tests have always been a baseline indicator of academics where a uniform test is given to students across the country. However, objection has been shown due to the fact that looking at SAT and ACT scores for college admission gives a disadvantage to students who are unable to afford to take the test multiple times or buy prep materials. With the onset of COVID-19 in the start of the 2020 school year, many colleges have made their applications “test-optional” and claim that the choice to submit or withhold SAT or ACT scores will not affect the application process. 

SAT Prep classes offer generic test taking strategies and give one experience with SAT-like problems.  

Madison Ward (12) has studied for the SAT using her own resources as well as the school’s and thinks that more could be offered from SHS. 

“SHS does a decent job… but I think there could be better options, as some people don’t have the resources to private tutors,” Ward said. 

Some universities have begun to phase out the test requirement on their applications, with the largest school being the University of California, saying that the test will not be considered on any applications by 2025. California schools say that they will begin working on a new test that their applicants will take instead. While many support this decision, others claim that it is only adding a burden to high schoolers who will continue to take the SAT for other schools. 

Terry W. Hartle is the senior vice president at the American Council on Education and claims in a interview that California getting rid of the SAT requirement would lead to other schools following suit.  

“The SAT has been remarkably resilient, but this will quite possibly lead other public universities to say, ‘Well if California can do without it, why do we still need it?’” Hartle said.  

Will Delaney (12) has taken the SAT and feels that college admissions should be based on a more holistic account. 

“SATs are a good indication of meeting high school standards in math and English, but I don’t think they should be considered in college applications because they aren’t a good indicator of who a person is,” Delaney said. 

Standardized tests will never fully go away, but colleges may start to transition to making them submission-optional due to the advantage that certain students are given over others in the test-taking and preparation process.