Down with college entrance exams


Jessica Adair, Staff Writer/Columnist

Colleges take many factors into consideration when admitting students. Unfortunately, admission is very dependent on two ridiculous tests: the SAT and the ACT.

I took my first Preliminary SAT (PSAT) at the beginning of my sophomore year, and it did not go well. I had never taken a test like that, and during the first section, I had a panic attack– which may or may not have had anything to do with how much coffee I consumed.


When I got my scores back, they were, of course, terrible. I realized that I knew little about the test and it wasn’t going to get any better unless I got some help, so I registered for a SAT class.

Although I learned many valuable test-taking strategies that significantly increased my scores, I realized something very important– these tests are completely and utterly pointless.

I have no idea who decided to create the SAT or ACT, or when colleges decided it was such an important test, but I bet they got enjoyment out of watching students rip their hair out. How could knowing strange vocabulary words and reading experiments about birds possibly have become such important factors in college admission?

These ridiculously odd sections are the main reasons why these tests make my blood boil. Although some reading sections include famous scholarly novels that increase a student’s cultural capital, others are about bracelet making and cows. Some are true for science; some sections are about disease research, others about fighting crickets.

Because of this, the transition from passage to passage is very difficult, and, during the SAT or ACT, students need all the time they can get. This is the other upsetting part about these tests. For students who are perfectionists like me, these tests are ten times more difficult. I, for example, am not capable of simply skipping a question, so I often spend a significant amount of time on an answer that I know I will able to find eventually.

It’s almost as if it doesn’t matter whether you understand the material or not. It’s all about using the right strategies at the right times, using your time wisely, and a little bit of luck. Last time I checked, those were not requirements for colleges. Colleges look things like for perseverance, creativity, and collaboration. Why can’t these tests measure those qualities?

The SATs and the ACTs are just evil, stressful tests used to measure a student’s use of strategies, not his or her brain. In my opinion, they should not be so heavily considered during the college admission process, and that’s just the way it is.