Why Standardized Testing Should not be Used to Compare Students


Brooke Jensen, Staff Writer

With Juniors taking the SAT this Wednesday, students are wondering what the purpose of the test is and why it’s so important. The SAT is a timed standardized test given to students as a way to show college admissions how college ready they are with a baseline compared to all other students. It has been used to test students’ competency since 1926, and until recently many thought the test was incredibly useful to compare students from around the world aiming for admission into American colleges. As the test continued to be used, Americans have discovered that the SAT might not be all it was said to be.

Students have been told, ever since they found out what the test is, that it is extremely important to secure their place in admissions to whatever school they decide to apply to. This idea has effectively caused students to feel extreme pressure when taking the test, which can lead to a number of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, and low-self esteem. The test also puts pressure on the teachers as they learn to teach the test, instead of the material as the scores that students receive are used to hold teachers and schools accountable. The SAT only measures how effectively a student can take a test, not how intelligent they truly are. The test cannot measure the creativity or imagination of a student and when put under pressure.

Unfair advantages also plague the SAT, as some students cannot get test-prep that other students are able to afford. In Reno, SAT prep companies such as Rise and Shine College Coaching are charging parents $1400 for 40 hours of prep, which may not be accessible to students in low income families. This places students with wealthier families at an advantage as SAT prep can be extremely beneficial in enhancing scores.

The classes of 23’ and 24’ still have the ability to apply to colleges test optional due to Covid-19. Even though some might not use their test scores, Manogue still requires students to take it in an effort to set them up for success. Students must remember to relax so that their test scores most accurately reflect their capability.