Standardized Tests: Helpful Or Harmful?

2147 words - 9 pages

Before entering the "real" world and making decisions about careers and life, there is one major decision one is faced with. The question of which institution will best fit their needs to prepare them for life. There are several choices to choose from. From Ivy League Schools to State Schools as well as Historically Black Colleges and Universities the list goes on and on. These schools are viewed in society on a scale. Ivy League Schools are viewed at the top of the list where as Historically Black Colleges and Universities is only a place to go when you have no where else to go. However to receive admission into any type of these universities one must take the Scholastic Achievement Test ...view middle of the document...

One's whole college career should not be based on the score of one standardize test. Everything should play a part in the admission process. High school grades, extra curricular activities and personal interviews should all be apart of the admission process as well. Not looking at the whole picture and just focusing on one test score does not allow an accurate perception of what a person is capable of doing inside and outside of the classroom. The tests do not fully represent everyone's ability to do well and do not take into consideration the variety of each individuals test taking style. Some are better test takers then others. The SAT and ACT should not be required to get into a four year institution because the test appears to be racially biased.Many assume that the test needs to be either reevaluated and or not required if there are so many students not meeting the standards of some schools. One must start at the root. Way before the scores are tallied and the test is taken there is the preparation for the tests. Before taking the tests, according to --- the best preparation is to get all of one's things together before they go to bed, such as pencils and a calculator. Get at least eight hours of sleep and have a nice healthy breakfast the next morning. When following these steps, one will definitely be physically prepared for the test if anything else. Speaking with one of the Protorines at Temple University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sandra Campbell spoke of the testing room where the students take the tests. Campbell said, " The students are not prepared with the proper writing utensils and many of them come in looking half a sleep. I administer many exams and the SAT are one the worst. The students do not comprehend the directions nor do they have any control over the subject matter they are testing on. On several occasions I have had to interrupt the test because ofsomeone attempting to cheat. A lot of them are not physically prepared let alone mentally." Campbell administers the tests to classrooms full of African American students. She also works in a high school and has a background of what goes on before and after a student takes the SAT and the ACT.After preparation for the tests the previous night as well as the morning of, many students should relax and keep in mind what their goal is. To get into an HBCU like Clark Atlanta you need a SAT combined score of a 950, whereas Harvard's website states that although there is not an minimum score, most of the students enrolled have combined scores no lower than a 1200 on the SAT. There is such a huge gap in between the two schools minimum test scores that indicates the expectancies of the two different races of students. The percentages of white students at Harvard is very high compared to the percentages at HBCU's. HBCU's were formed for African American students who could not get into white institutions so they were formed so blacks could have a place to go and get knowledge...


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