College Entrance Exams

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Source: www.collegequest.com.

Maya Kalet, BCCHS Sociology Student

Imagine one test deciding your future, your score is everything that matters – but what really goes into getting that perfect score? College entrance exams are a total scam and the reality is that they are rigged due to the fact that people pay for tutors which gives them an upper hand over the people who cannot be groomed for these tests. Millions of dollars, as well as hours, go into studying for these exams – at least for upper-class people who have the ability to spend countless money on these exams – that will end up determining what school you go to and how your whole life plans out. Unfortunately, these tests don’t truly reflect for all people since they are rigged to benefit the people who have the ability to get tutors.

On average, it is calculated that the average person spends 10-20 hours a week studying for the SATS and the average amount that people pay for tutors is $70 an hour. (1) This is obviously statistics so it does apply to everyone, but for some people, this is unattainable which could lead them to not get their desired results. The Washington Post shared their opinions on this topic and they believe that “kids from poor families do worse than kids with more money. Wealthy parents can provide benefits that many poor families can’t, such as tutors learning opportunities, the best medical care, and schools with ample resources”. (2) It’s not fair that people don’t have equal chances due to their opportunities in life. According to a prep blog, it is thought that studying with a tutor drastically increases the chance of getting the desired score and helps with test-taking strategies. It is ultimately unfair and untrue representation of what students can attain with all equal study methods and time.

In addition to the inequalities surrounding the ability to get tutors and dedicate hours to these standardized tests, some people are simply not test-takers. Speaking from personal experience, I am not a test taker and I continuously fail to retain valuable knowledge even with the help of external help through tutors. For me, this is insanely stressful due to the fact that even with all the hard work of prep that I put into studying, I constantly don’t get the results that I want to get. It is the same for many children around the world who are forced to rely on standardized tests to get into the colleges of their dreams. 

This year will be different, due to the pandemic that has gripped the nation. This horrible event has possibly been seen as a blessing in disguise for many struggling Americans. It has been made both clear and public that some schools have decided to wave these standardized tests and make these tests optional. (4) This has become a relief to many people who have high averages with low test scores. It’s hard to see a counter-argument for a topic that is so obviously unfair and outstandingly unequal to those who are unable to set up the supports that wealthy people can. Yes, it can be seen as a way for people to show their strength and another way for people to show what they can bring to the table, but all in all it is a very rigged system.

These standardized tests lead to so much strain on mental health in teens and also cause unwarranted gaps in the ability for people to get into the colleges that they want to get into. Its a rigged system that is another way for the wealthy people to have a upperleg on lower class people. It is extremely unfair to have the majority of people’s lives based on one test that some people had better methods to study for. This is a clear example of the inequality that wealth has in our society and how it is a constant cycle that is hard to break out of for reasons like this. 

Sources:

  1. How Much Should You Pay for SAT/ACT Tutoring?
  2. https://tutors.com/costs/sat-tutoring-cost#:~:text=The%20average%20cost%20for%20SAT,estimates%20from%20tutors%20near%20you.
  3. Analysis | Is it finally time to get rid of the SAT and ACT college admissions tests?
  4. Colleges Are Waiving the SAT and ACT Because of Coronavirus