SATs Measure Intelligence Inaccurately

The SAT. The thought of all the studying and nerve-wracking stress that goes into such a tedious, pointless test makes most want to bang their heads against something. But the SAT Reasoning Test does not define a student’s knowledge or intelligence, but only tests students of the strategies and tricks they use to score high on the exam. Colleges should not take the SAT Reasoning Test into such great consideration, especially on something as important as a student’s application.
The purpose of the SAT is to show colleges a student’s ability and readiness to do well in college. First, how can a three-hour test that is not even related to any specific subject prove that readiness and ability? Students spend hours, weeks and years in classes to work for GPAs, yet the SAT is counted second to grades. Not only that, studying for the test takes a significant amount of extra time on top of school work, especially if a high score is the ultimate goal.
“I do hate studying for it, but you have to,” sophomore Stefan Tian said. “It’s the only other thing academically that colleges [use to] view you besides your overall GPA.”
Colleges do not give students a choice. If students want to go to a good school, they must do well on this test or a similar test. Students who are hard workers but not good test takers will struggle with the content of this long test. This is a very unfair situation for these types of students to have to deal with.
“It all depends on the person who takes it: if they’re good at taking tests then they’ll probably do well on it,” Stefan said. “But if they’re not good in that high-stress situation then it doesn’t fairly represent them.”
Some like the opportunity the SAT gives them to show colleges their knowledge and good test taking skills. They also like how it allows them to show colleges their knowledge beyond just GPAs.
“I really like taking logic tests,” junior Mark Conrad said. “I like the tests because they see how apt we are, as in actual intelligence, versus ability to learn.”
But does the SAT really show actual intelligence in mastering math, reading and writing? The people who tend to do well are the ones who have taken preparation courses and have learned the skills and strategies in how to take the test instead of comprehending the content fully.
“I think the SAT shouldn’t mean anything at all in admissions, it doesn’t even test knowledge,” junior Sarah Loebner said. “It just puts the answers in front of you and you have to find them. It’s not hard to pick out the wrong ones; it’s just a matter of knowing the test.”
The SAT also tests a broader expanse of knowledge instead of a thorough understanding in a few subjects. The purpose of going to college is to focus on a major and excel in that one area of study. So why test students vaguely on three different subjects when they are not applicable for future education? If students put good effort into a test, all the studying should be able to be paid off in future academic courses instead of just general knowledge to satisfy colleges.
Ideally, the SAT should just disappear altogether. But unfortunately, that’s not about to happen anytime soon considering the amount of money the Collegeboard milks us of. So what to do now? Well, there’s no choice but to study, study, study!