Should college SATs be eliminated?

I recently read the UC regents were considering eliminating SATs in student admissions. They argue that these unfairly benefit the more affluent students whose families can afford to pay for pricey SAT prep and tutoring. However, all students have access to online prep, notably the Khan Academy. These online services help even the playing field.

As a former English instructor at UC Irvine. I encountered freshmen who had great difficulty reading and comprehending an assigned essay. No, these students were not foreign-born. Their home language was English. How could their lack of basic reading and comprehension skills not have been detected in high school? I immediately contacted the students’ counsellors and insisted these students receive specialized tutorials.

SAT scores serve as a report card on high schools. We all know high schools differ. Some teachers are more prone to grade inflation. Is an A in American History at school X comparable to an A at school Y? There is no way to know. If the scores of their seniors are appallingly low, should these schools not be held accountable? If the thermometer says you have a temperature, do you throw out the thermometer or cure the underlying cause of the fever? If the SAT is abandoned, what measure will be used to determine whether students have the basic skills to enter and succeed in their college-level studies?

The SAT is an objective measure of a student’s skills. It should remain a factor in determining admissions to the university.

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