College Entrance Exams

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I took the Scholastic Achievement Test for the first time in November 2008. The recession was fog settling over the country, the War on Terror raged on a continent away where it couldn’t hurt us, and Barack Obama had been elected president a few weeks before. I had my Lifesavers and my TI-83 calculator, my No. 2 pencils and my testing strategies—it’s better to skip than to guess blindly, style matters over content in the essay, et cetera. Style matters over content. My SAT prep tutor assured me it didn’t matter what I said on the essay portion as long as I didn’t use personal pronouns or passive voice, as long as my writing was perfect. So I made up a few facts and quotations—a statistic, I think—, then I finished with a big risk: I made up a quotation and claimed President-Elect Barack Obama had said it. The public loved him; unless a strict conservative or someone who knew everything he said by heart read my essay, I couldn’t fail, right? Right. I got a perfect twelve. This solidified what I already knew, which is that the SAT, and the College Board in general, is a business with a system. It has tricks and strategies, and it manipulates. It would be very difficult to walk into a school on test day and ace the SAT without any prep in the system, much less the content. How well students perform on the SAT allegedly indicates how well she will do her first year of college, but there is a flaw in this as well, which I will explain later. Additionally, the SAT only measures analytical intelligence, instead of analytical, creative, and practical intelligences. Because of SAT’s hamartia, I call for the abolishment of its place in the college admissions process. Due to my parents’ determination to see me succeed, I spe... ... middle of paper ... ...ce, which measures multiple intelligences and more accurately determines a student’s general intelligence (Sternberg, 2012). Works Cited Berliner, D. C. (2005, August 2). Our impoverished view of educational reform. Teachers College Record. Gorski, P. C., Reaching and Teaching Students in Poverty: Strategies for Erasing the Opportunity Gap. Teachers College Press, New York, 2013. (n.d.). In College Board. Retrieved June 9, 2014, from https://www.collegeboard.org/ SAT (2007). In Free Rice 2.0. Retrieved June 9, 2014, from http://freerice.com/#/sat/1521514 Sparkman, L. A., Maulding, W. S., & Roberts, J. G. (2012, September). “Non-cognitive predictors of student success in college”. College Student Journal, 46(3), 642-652. Retrieved from EBSCOHost (01463934). Sternberg, R. (2012). College Admissions: Beyond Conventional Testing. Change, 44(5), 6-13.
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