High school is already a crazy time in a person’s life. The stress of school can oftentimes be overwhelming. One of biggest stressors in a student’s life is the ACT and SAT test. This stress could be avoided if the ACT and SAT were not required. Why would a school place unnecessary stress on a student’s?
Both the ACT and SAT are standardized tests colleges use to determine merit. The two main differences between the ACT and SAT is their essay content and where they are required. The ACT only has one essay and is used primarily for schools on the west coast, the SAT however is mostly comprised of essays and is used for schools on the east coast. Colleges use the test to determine entrance qualification, but the test is far more detrimental than beneficial.
The ACT and SAT encourage exam-oriented learning. Nowadays, students are not learning to gain knowledge, but to pass tests. When a student is consistently told that this one test will determine their future, studying begins to take precedence over the joy of learning. Studying for the ACT or SAT takes up time that could be spent doing other college prep activities such as: researching potential colleges, working on a college application letter, and extracurricular activities. Junior Ashni Belnap said, “I think I would rather spend time searching out colleges and figuring out what college is best for me, rather than studying for a test.”
An ACT or SAT test score is only a portion of a college application, they also include service and extracurricular activities. Studying takes time away from doing these activities. Studying for the test would not be as bad, if the ACT and SAT organizations told students exactly what topics they need to know in order to succeed on the test. Belnap said, “I think that the ACT should tell us how we should allocate our study time, so I wouldn’t have to spend excess time studying stuff I don’t need to know.”
Many high schools act as if the ACT and SAT are the most important tests in a students life. The truth is, they mean far less than teachers imply. Senior Michael Ludlow who has taken the ACT said, “I think they’re [ACT/SAT] a decent way of filtering through students to make sure you have a higher level populous, but it’s not the end all be all.” Ludlow implies the test is only a decent way of filtering the good students out from the bad. An ACT and SAT score is not the most important part of a student’s academic accolades. If the test is not the most important factor regarding college acceptance, then students should not take it.
The ACT and SAT are a poor measurement of student intelligence. People can be intelligent in more ways than just “book smart”. Perhaps a student is a poor test taker, or solves problems in an artistic manner, the ACT and SAT do not take those things into consideration. Teacher Becca Olson said, “It’s a standardized test, and I don’t think everyone fits into that mold, so I don’t think they are always very accurate.”
If the ACT and SAT are not accurate, then they should not be taken. Learning comes in many different mediums, if a test does not take all mediums into consideration, then colleges may be rejecting incredibly smart people.
Whether you took the test or not, or enjoyed your test experience or hated it, do not get hung up on your test score because at the end of the day, a score is just a score and does not measure your worth. Intelligence is more than a number, and colleges will accept those who are well rounded individuals.