Opinion: Standardized tests are still unfair

Despite decades of complains, standardized tests like the SAT are biased against certain groups of students


Madison Wise

Though standardized tests have long been a determining factor in a student’s admission to a college or university, the SAT and ACT have frequently been criticized for being biased against certain groups, such as minorities or low-income students.

Oliver Simpson, Staff Writer

The SAT should no longer be used because it shows many forms of bias. For a test that essentially decides a person’s future, it is extremely unfair and outdated. 

The Scholastic Aptitude Test, also known as the SAT, is a test that was originally created to be a college entrance exam. It is now used to rank schools more than as an entrance exam. According to Principal Marsha Potthoff, “The state of Illinois and other [states] feel they need to evaluate schools and they think one of those ways should be standardized testing [so they use the SAT].”

Standardized testing doesn’t take into account any outside factors. While this is understandable because it’s a nationwide test that every student takes, if the College Board was truly trying to make it equal, they would have the ‘Hardship Score’ that they had proposed once before. 

The Hardship Score would take into account struggles that students face that can affect their score such as teens that have after school jobs to help parents pay bills. Another thing the Hardship Score would take into account is the status of the school that a student goes to. For example, there are some schools who have less funding than the average public school. This affects students because it limits their in school resources that are meant to help them study for things such as the SAT. 

The SAT is especially biased towards and students who come from low-income families. Many of the questions are based on life experiences that the test is assuming that everyone has experienced. 

The test relies on a person’s ability to get extra studying opportunities that often require money — such as tutoring. High schools attempt to prepare students, but the majority of it is put on the students to figure out on their own. According to tutors.com, it costs on average $45-$100 per session with an SAT tutor, while prep classes cost between $100-$1,000 for each class. This is a highly unrealistic cost for many high school students.

The SAT should no longer be used because it has been proven that standardized testing is not a fair system of testing. It often creates extreme stress on students, which makes it harder for them to focus on the subject. If colleges want to continue to use SAT, it is important they make it fair to all students by including the Hardship Score.