The SAT/ACT is a measure of wealth not knowledge


Katelyn La

The SAT/ACT do not do a good job to fully represent the knowledge of students.

Sophia Golberg, Section editor

[Opinion] The SAT and ACT are a measure of wealth, not knowledge

The SAT and ACT are standardized tests that have been around since 1926. The tests continue to be a testament to whether students have the perceived intellectual ability to attend certain universities. Despite multiple objections to basing a students’ entire academic career on a single test, most universities continue to require adequate SAT or ACT scores as a category on their applications.

Due to the overwhelming focus on the SAT and ACT for students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as at other high schools across the country, educators have developed methods to aid students in scoring well on either or both tests.

These methods typically consist of individual or group tutoring. Due to the emphasis on the importance of these tests, exemplary tutors are constantly in high demand. These tutoring sessions can range from one to several hours.

Although free group tutoring options are available, most of the effective SAT/ACT tutoring options are only available for purchase. Students, especially those hoping to attend more prestigious colleges, may find themselves spending thousands of dollars on SAT/ACT preparation.

Other than in-person tutoring, online preparation services are also available to students, if they are able to afford them of course. For example, the Kaplan SAT preparation course that thousands of students take each year starts at $2000 without tax.

Those who do not have the means of paying for these preparation courses or sessions do not have the clear advantage compared to those who are able to afford these options. In fact, they are at a disadvantage without the guidance of educators that others have easier access to.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with parents paying to help their children prepare for these tests, it is completely understandable why they would want to help their children get into the college of their choice. However, what is an issue is a test that does not provide a measure of knowledge, but a measure of wealth.

The tutors and platforms that students use in order to prepare themselves for the SAT and ACT are experts in these tests. It is no surprise that the better students know the layout and question types on these tests, the better their scores are.

There are hundreds of topics that could appear on the SAT and ACT. The experts in these tests that offer assistance to students know the types of questions that the students must prepare to answer. Even the brightest of students could not possibly fit years of knowledge into their brains and decipher all the information and methods for solving problems on a timed test.

The fact that wealthier students have a clear advantage on this test makes the importance of it unethical. Students should be judged over their years in high school, their hard work and dedication to the community. The SAT and ACT tests do nothing but see if the students have the means to pay to be successful.