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ACT/SAT: Too Much Pressure

Should the results of one test have as big of an impact as deciding whether or not you get accepted into the University or College that you wish to attend? In my opinion one test should not be the reason someone doesn’t get into college; on the other hand without entrance exams there would not be a set limit for the acceptance of students that wish to attend a cetain college. Entrance exams do not prove how successful your high school career was. Entrance exams also do not show how effective your work ethic is. However we must take into consideration the amount of applicants that colleges receive per year along with the many different grading scales that high schools have created.  Universities must set qualification in order to eliminate applications. The question is; should entrance exams be eliminated?

There are two sides on the issue concerning whether or not entrance exams should be eliminated. The side supporting the elimination of entrance exams gives the arguments that entrance exams provide a disadvantage for people of minorities, people of the female gender, and people with poor economic standings.  The opposing side of the issue provides the argument that without common standard colleges can’t eliminate applicants. The opposing side argues that grade inflation makes it difficult for colleges to base acceptance on grades based on the accuracy of the student’s academic achievement.

The argument that supporters of eliminating entrance exams relates to the disadvantage of minority, female, and people who have little money. Experts that support this argument have explained that entrance exams underestimate college performance of students based on the results of entrance exams.  According to Donald Stewart the president of College Board, “increasing reliance on standardized tests as affirmative action laws are struck down could lead to simply the registration of higher education.” This expert is saying that colleges rely on entrance exams when eliminating applicants and should rely less on entrance exam. An accurate example of the misleading results of entrance exams is the fact that females tend to have lower scores on entrance exams compared to men but are more successful in college.  Another example that could support that entrance exams are biased could be the difference in scores on entrance exams between minorities.” Christopher Jenks, a professor at Harvard University explains that entrance exams make it difficult to obtain the goal of racial groups accepted in college in the United States. The lower test scores are the biggest setback to racial equality.”

The opposing argument that is against eliminating entrance exams make the argument that without a set qualification or standard colleges would not have an efficient way to determine what the qualifications and which applicants meet the criteria. Supporters argue that entrance exams are used to determine which students are more likely to be successful in college. Entrance exams are not based on gender or race. Another argument to support entrance exams is that also explain that high school grading has a tendency of teachers giving higher grades then in the past. According to my research in 1987 students with A minus or above grade point average was at 27% and in 1996 jumped to 36% at the same time the students A minus and above grade point average score on entrance exams like SAT and ACT dropped 15 points. This statistic proves that grades are being given not accordingly to what the students actually obtain academically and they are not reliable when it comes to making the decision whether or not a student will be successful in college.  Supporters argue the difference of scores between social groups such as minorities and females are not because of the test. The difference could be factors such as; the students home environment, the quality of the school, and also money. Supporters say it is not possible to eliminate standardized testing becomes colleges have to many applicants to eliminate. California University at Berkeley receives 27,000 applicants a year for a class size of 3,500 students.  The opposing side has brought up the solution of not eliminating entrance exams but for teachers to try and help students to meet the standard that is required.

In conclusion in my opinion entrance exams are the best ways to determine which applicants get accepted and applicants are turned away. Grades are not the best solution to eliminating the entrance exams. Grades are not the best solution because teachers give students grades that haven’t been earned and not based on the student’s academic achievement. Entrance exams also are helping when admitting students because it sets the qualifications.

Work Cited

“College Entrance Exams.” Issues & Controversies On File: n. pag. Issues & Controversies. Facts On File News Services, 12 Mar. 1999. Web. 11 Apr. 2011. <http://www.2facts.com/article/i0400520&gt;.

Categories: Standardized Testing
  1. Patrick Davidson
    May 4, 2011 at 12:51 am

    I know how it is about the ACT pressure, I was a Valedictorian and graduated with a 4.25 GPA at my school, but when i took the ACT I ran out of time on the English section of the test and scored a 17. As you know a 17 causes you to go into remedial classes, which with my credentials I should not be in that class at all but I am. I believe that they should not get rid of the ACT but not make it so much of a burden to be the reason if you are able to get into the school or not. I also scored a composite of a 24 which still boggles my mind on why i had to take remedial but I know that if the ACT was not such a big deal to the schools then me and everyone else would have things much more better off and could be able to focus on much more important things like actual classes that count towards our degree.

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