The fallacy behind standardized testing

Your SAT scores do not define you

Ashley+Yung
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Back to Article

The fallacy behind standardized testing

Ashley Yung

Ashley Yung

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo

Ashley Yung

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo

Gazette/GBT.org staff photo

Ashley Yung

Ashley Yung, former features editor

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  The stressor for many upperclassmen. The cause of lost weekends and long nights. You might know what I’m talking about –  standardized testing.

  As students, we believe our standardized test scores define us. It’s something quantitative we can compare with our peers.

  Essentially, the College Board is labeling students with numbers. The worst part is, students start identifying themselves by these labels.

  The argument in favor of standardized testing goes something like this:

  Colleges need some way of differentiating students from across the country.

  For example, a student in Connecticut and a student in Iowa might both be valedictorian of their high school. However, their SAT scores could show the student in Connecticut is “smarter” because she  earned a 1590, while the student in Iowa earned a 1460.

 In reality, a person’s SAT tests actually depend on a few other factors.

  These factors include how well they perform under stress, how much money their families can pay for tutoring and test-prep programs, or the obvious – how much they study and if they have purely memorized test strategies.

  I would be lying if I said SAT scores didn’t test anything.

The worst part is, students start identifying themselves by these labels.”

— Ashley Yung

  My SAT score tells me how talented I am at reading passages, computing simple math and writing a rhetorical essay.

  My question is: why are SAT scores so important?

  In my opinion, they are geared toward a specific prototype of a purely academic individual. Not only that, but an academic individual who is “talented” at regurgitating information.

  Pretend you are the college admissions officer. Now, let’s play a game of  “Would You Rather.”

  Would you rather accept the student who can spot explicit facts written in a scientific passage or the student who contributed to writing in that scientific journal?

  Would you rather accept the student who uses commas correctly or the student who creates a literary masterpiece reminiscent of the last paragraph of James Joyce’s “Ulysses,” grammar-free?

  Would you rather accept the student who sees a formula and computes or the one who sees the world in formulas and is always searching to pioneer the mathematical world?

  What happens to the artists, musicians and the insanely talented who simply aren’t good at standardized testing?

   Standardized tests are blown way out of proportion. The SAT is merely a single test taken in a few hours.

  A number doesn’t necessarily define your intellect, and it most certainly doesn’t define you.

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