SAT, why do you hate me?

So I took my first SAT today YAY! JUST KIDDING NOT YAY.

Okay, so yes I’m a high school kid and it’s perfectly normal for me to hate the SAT and complain about it. However, I don’t hate it because of the fact that it’s a 4 hour test… (I actually love taking tests and I love school sooooo–yes, I’m a nerd.) I hate the SAT because what’s supposed to be a “common denominator” for students entering college, is anything but that. Everyone is supposed to have an equal opportunity to succeed on the SAT, but that most certainly DOES NOT happen. In my opinion (the one that matters…), the SAT is a completely unfair test. NO ONE has an equal opportunity to succeed. So hey ETS (evil testing service), your tactics don’t work!

Why do I believe this? Well, it is proven that kids who come from higher income families achieve better scores than those from lower income families. Why? Oh, I wonder… Some parents can afford for their child to take an expensive prep course and have a pricey SAT tutor, others can’t. If they (ETS) really wanted to create a “common denominator”, SAT instructors should be illegal and tutoring not allowed… But that sounds like communism (well… I did mention they’re evil…).

Also, the material on the SAT is so not what kids learn in school. Wow, how nice of ETS! It’s not like high schoolers have enough HW already… But, NO, they expect us to learn and THOROUGHLY study completely new stuff and somehow fit that into our very busy schedules and still succeed! You know what? I’m really starting to think that ETS has the students’ best interests at heart :). Oh and remember, no stress! This test has nothing to do with what college you go to, what scholarships you get, or your future! HA… if only…

So yeah, there was a little rant for you :). Have a good weekend guys (and hopefully it hasn’t involved the SAT)…

Cheers,

Ashley-Anna

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19 comments

  1. Human Interest · October 3, 2015

    I know you love tests but such standardized testing should be done away with because they aren’t representative of what to expect in college. It is also so true that those from higher income families score better than those from lower income families. We cannot afford the prep courses, so we go in with whatever we learn from school in general, while they get preparatory courses directly for acing the SATs.

    • Ashley-Anna Aboreden · October 3, 2015

      Couldn’t agree with you more! It’s pretty ridiculous…

      • Human Interest · October 3, 2015

        I’m sure you did great though ;)

      • Ashley-Anna Aboreden · October 3, 2015

        Haha thanks, I hope! I happen to be one of the “privileged” kids and I’ve had so much prep, so I better have!!

      • Human Interest · October 3, 2015

        You really better have lol

  2. Gabrielle Massman · October 4, 2015

    I actually took the SAT today, too, Ashley-Anna! Only this will be my last time taking it (as opposed to your first.) I hope you did well!
    It also really bothers me that the public and private schooled kids actually get to take SAT prep classes (it is part of the school year!) and richer kids get to have private tutoring. Since I am homeschooled, I get none of that, and I feel way underprepared compared to the other kids. I definitely feels like it slants in their favor.
    However, I don’t mind that the material is different– I think the goal of that is to transcend school work and measure potential (which I think is good.) Yet, the very fact that kids are taking classes on the SAT defeats the purpose (which is annoying.)
    My biggest issue with the SAT is that it encourages conformist thinking– especially with the critical reading section. Many of the answers could be debated depending on your philosophy and worldview; however, there is only one correct answer. (Of course, not all of the questions are like this, but many are.) So the rebel in me resents this a bit. Also I like *time* to formulate ideas, and the essay does not give me that ;)
    I hope you did well!
    God bless,
    Gabrielle

    • Ashley-Anna Aboreden · October 4, 2015

      Hey Gabrielle! I completely agree! It definitely promotes conformist thinking! Especially with the new SAT… It’s all math, no writing, and less comprehensive vocab. They really don’t want kids to think for themselves anymore :(. Anyway, thanks so much! I hope you did great too :D.

      Blessings,
      Ashley-Anna

  3. ramexa · October 6, 2015

    No exams like us. Exams are mean.

  4. proverbs31teen · October 8, 2015

    Oooh, I’m taking the SAT in November, but it’s my second time… I’m a nerd, too. I absolutely looooove taking tests like this. I could do without the essay part, but I really like the test. :P

  5. Olórin · March 4, 2016

    I would say it’s a bit more accurate than you make it sound here, though still not completely accurate. Last fall was my first time taking it, starting into my junior year, virtually no test prep (a practice test or two, mostly for the ACT), and I got a 1560. It did seem to test what I learned in school, and while I am homeschooled, so I didn’t receive standard curriculum, I would be very surprised if it made that much of a difference.

    Also, have you ever considered that rich people might be rich because they’re smarter? It isn’t always true, but a large percentage of millionaires and billionaires are self made, which would point to their brains being a large factor in why they are rich. Smart people tend to have smart children, so it would make sense if kids from rich families tended to get higher scores than kids from poor families.

    • Ashley-Anna Aboreden · March 7, 2016

      I completely get what you’re saying and really good points! But, in general, I do disagree. Personally, I know extremely intelligent kids who take the SAT and do not so great and I also know some not so intelligent kids who do amazing on the SAT!

      And…I wasn’t aware that intelligence is hereditary. And OF COURSE I couldn’t agree more that “self made billionaires” are incredibly genius, but that really doesn’t make their kids smart. Anyway…great points and I really appreciate your comment!!!!

      • Olórin · March 7, 2016

        Intelligence isn’t entirely hereditary, and there are environmental factors that play into it (mostly during the developmental stage), but there are definitely some hereditary factors to intelligence. Nothing is inherited perfectly, and it is perfectly possible for an average-intelligence couple to have a genius and an idiot, even as paternal twins (think of the twins where one was black and the other was white). So the kids of self made billionaires won’t necessarily be smart, but they have a greater likelihood of being smart than the kids of someone of average or lower intelligence. I haven’t looked at the records you mentioned saying that richer kids do better, so I don’t know the consistency or amount of the difference (and prep does definitely help, though it is arguable to what extent), and therefore I can’t insist that this is the only factor affecting the difference, but it seems like a reasonable possibility with the information I have at the moment.

        Anyway, to address your first point, there is a degree of test taking ability that plays into this. Some kids are naturally good test takers and some are naturally bad test takers, and this doesn’t necessarily reflect intelligence, but if you looked at an average trend, smarter people would get higher scores on these types of tests. I have always been told I am a good test taker, and while I have my doubts, I can’t argue with people about it, because it would look like I am trying to tell them that I’m smarter than they think I am.
        Now, MBTI actually would play into this a lot, for example, an xSFJ would likely do very well on a reading test, because it would remember what it was taught much better and would catch the emotional undertones that reading tests often ask about, whereas an xNTP or an xSTJ would likely do better on a math test, because they both have a naturally logical mind and the ability to remember formulas. Intuitive types would tend to do better on science tests, because those don’t actually test scientific knowledge, but scientific thinking, making Ns and especially NTs the best for that (also, the predominance of information translation as an aspect of the science test would make it especially friendly to xNTPs ).

        So I would agree that intelligence definitely isn’t the only factor that plays into these tests, I would argue that it is probably the biggest factor.

        Also, I was wondering why you didn’t mention the ACT in your article. Do you feel the ACT is different somehow, or is there another reason (or no reason)?

      • Ashley-Anna Aboreden · March 8, 2016

        No, I understand what you’re saying. Of course, a more intelligent person will, in general, score higher on standardized tests. However, it is undeniable that certain curricula, as well as, test prep will improve an individual’s score. I agree with you regarding the MBTI types. Certain personalities will definitely do better on testing than others. I am an ENTP (but that’s debatable lol) and math is one of my best subjects, while reading comp is my worst. And yes, I’m also a naturally good test taker so I completely understand what you’re saying. But you really can’t deny that kids who can afford test prep will do better on those tests. My SAT tutor is a genius. He has a PhD in psychology and scores a perfect or nearly perfect score on the SAT every single time he takes it. I got this info from him and I think he’s right. He pulled the stats and laid it all out for his students: people who can afford test prep get higher scores. It’s a fact. I, personally, went up 200+ points after prep. There’s psychology involved in the SAT (and every other standardized test). It’s hard to notice it unless someone, like my tutor, clearly points it out to you. Yes, smarter kids will do better, but kids with test prep will do even better. Of course, there are exceptions. Some kids are just gifted and will break the trend. Also, the stats that say higher income kids do better is not just because they can afford test prep…although that’s the main reason…but higher income families send their kids to better schools (private schools). You can’t deny that most students in private schools receive a better education than public schooled kids. This also factors into their test scores because these kids have an educational background advantage. Also, lower income kids usually have to work, taking away from their time to study and focus on school. Therefore, because of all these factors, I believe the SAT in an unfair test. I don’t think there is any way you could actually make a test that is a “common denominator” no matter how hard one tried. It’s impossible. Everyone thinks differently, has different personalities, different educational backgrounds and opportunities, and different life experiences. No two minds are the same. Therefore, ONE test could never ever “rate” millions of different minds.
        Oh, and about the ACT, the only reason I didn’t bring it up was because I’ve never taken it. I wrote this post merely because in the middle of taking my SAT I realized how many things were wrong with it and felt inspired to write about it once I got home haha. But, in general, these concepts apply to all standardized tests (although I don’t know the income stats for the ACT). Anyway, I understand where you’re coming from, but I still consider the SAT to be a test that isn’t fair to students. Kids are much more than the numbers they receive on a test which, to me, is biased.

      • Olórin · March 12, 2016

        I agree with most of this, and while I still think it is more accurate than you portray, I do agree that it definitely isn’t perfect.

        I actually helped Gabrielle type you, and I will debate you about your type if you think it’s debatable :)

      • Ashley-Anna Aboreden · March 15, 2016

        Haha you did? Well no debating necessary, but I’m still semi skeptical lol.

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