Why the government should abolish the SAT/ACT


Divine Idiku

The SAT/ACT should determine, among other factors, a student’s eligibility to enter college. However, this can only work if they design the exam fairly and if everyone can take the exam. Sat/ACT should not determine one’s own eligibility to enter college; extracurriculars, GPA and grade should determine it. “Yes, I think it should be optional, it should be a facet that colleges look for, it could be a piece of who a student is overall. It definitely should not be the only piece that should be looked at, for a very long time it has been GPA and SAT score and if you didn’t have them, then you couldn’t get in. I like the idea that it is a piece so if a kid does well they could add it to their portfolio,” SAT/ACT proctor Jennifer Morgan said.

Divine Idiku, Reporter

Collegeboard and ACT originally created the SAT/ACT test to diversify students admitted into the Ivy League, but instead, it only admits middle and upper-class white students to the top colleges. Colleges should not require students to take the ACT/SAT to gain admission because the test cannot fully measure a student’s intelligence and college preparedness. These exams unfairly and inaccurately measure students’ intelligence and eligibility for college, students’ GPA, and grade can as well. Intelligence can vary in numerous areas, not just in school. CollegeBoard announced in January 2022 that they will move the SAT online and cut down the test from three hours to two hours long in 2024. However, these actions will not change anything, and the SAT/ACT will remain unfair.

The difference in SAT results between Asian, White, Black and Latinx people vary significantly. Asian and White kids’ SAT scores average over 1100 while Black and Latino teens SAT score average below 1000. The income parents make impacts the SAT results, putting people at a disadvantage. During the pandemic, numerous colleges made SAT/ACT test scores optional to submit through the Common App, this made applicants from various races, ethnicities, and backgrounds apply to private schools.  

A lot of it has to do with the bias, the way the pieces are worded in the reading parts specially, what pieces are chosen often comes from a place designed for a specific demographic. Honestly, these tests were written for middle and upper-class white people in suburbia and they don’t take into account the extremely diverse population we have now that take the test and go to college. The reading has no connection and students have no idea what it is talking about,” SAT/ACT proctor Jennifer Morgan said. 

The SAT exhibits social inequality, favoring people who can afford to pay for preparation for the SAT, and hurting those that come from low-income families, not receive educational opportunities. SAT prep books and tutoring classes rack up a massive bill for students. Registering for the tests can prove costly; the ACT costs $55 while the SAT costs $60. Various families can only pay for one while a handful cannot pay for either. Several students can afford to take the test more than two or three times to achieve a satisfactory score, but a handful of families can only pay for their child to take the exam once. If the child fails to achieve a satisfactory score, they ruin their chance to get admitted to the college of their choice.

“The SAT/ACT are extremely expensive and I think the price went up to $70 per test; that’s a lot of money for a test that isn’t necessary for a lot of colleges anymore,” Morgan said.

Colleges should focus on students’ grades, GPA, essays, extracurriculars and recommendations to determine one’s eligibility to enter college. People take the SAT/ACT from all kinds of backgrounds; certain students with high GPAs and grades do not achieve a strong score, destroying their chances to apply to a school of their choice. SAT/ACT should not hinder students from entering college. They prevent them from earning scholarships and entering the college of their dreams.