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SAT/ACT; The Unfair System

 By: Charles Sommer

an overwhelmed student gazes at a pile of books

Photo by: CollegeDegrees360

Every year that goes by, It’s another highschool class’s responsibility to study for the SAT and the ACT. Whether you believe standardized testing is a fair assessment and gauge on college readiness, arguing that it should still be accepted during the pandemic is wrong. Not only is it unfair to the students unable to take the test, but also to those cramming years of studying for a test that may or may not occur. Students are deserving of respect from colleges and universities, more than what is being conveyed. 


 The New York Post reports that students are flying all over the country to take the SAT due to site closures. This is an unfair advantage because lower-income students may not have the resources to fly or drive across the country to take the test. Judge Seligman ruled early in September that UC’s test-optional policy “unfairly disadvantaged disabled applicants because they lacked access to testing centers with accommodations during the Covid-19 pandemic”. The vast majority of colleges are going test-optional this year, but test-optional does not mean test blind. Am I arguing that all schools should be tested blind? No. But should all public schools test blind? Indubitably. If you cannot give every student a plane ticket to take the SAT, then it should not be required at schools, especially with mass site closures, as seen in California. 


Schools like Yale and Harvard, are going to have applicants that aced the SAT as a freshman so there's no need to try and influence their application process, and private schools have the option to do whatever they want. It is clear, however, that there should be a precedent set by this monumental court ruling that all public schools should be tested blind. Students with health concerns and students unable to take the test due to cancellations even though they are willing to put the health of themselves, family members, and whoever else they see through the pandemic should have a moral obligation from the colleges stating that they have the students best interests in mind. Would you, a student be willing to put the health of yourself, your family, and your immediate friends on the line for a test? This standard that is being set is unfair and students shouldn't be in this position.


The fact that a court judge had to put the colleges in their place is pathetic and never should have occurred. Students should have the level of effort they put into getting into a college reciprocated in not only scholarships but most importantly cancellation of the SAT in the application process. A fair playing field should be set up, and what it comes down to is if these schools will set up a fair system or if they will continue to allow unfair application processes and college scandals to haunt them. 

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