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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Editorial: SAT remains important

    In Minnesota, papers were served last week for a class-action lawsuit that could affect how millions of high school seniors and college admissions officers around the country perceive SAT scores.

    The College Board, the company that administers the SAT examinations throughout the country, revealed in March that thousands of tests from its October administration of the SAT had been graded improperly. As a result, 4,411 students out of the approximately 500,000 who took the exam received lower scores than they would have with a correctly graded exam. Another 600 received scores higher than they should have been.

    The College Board re-scored the exams and raised test scores that were lower than they should have been, but per company policy, the College Board is not correcting scores that were higher than they should have been.

    The class-action suit is being pressed on behalf of students who received incorrectly lowered scores as well as those who feel it’s unfair to have to compete against students with unfairly inflated scores.

    Is this lawsuit going to make immediate earth-shattering changes in the lives of students affected by this year’s scoring errors? No.

    Is it important anyway? Absolutely. The lawsuit is a reflection of the public demand that the SAT be administered as fairly as possible and that its scores accurately reflect the performance of the students who take it.

    The SAT has seen a bumpy road over the past few years. First came accusations that the test was biased against certain racial groups, followed by charges that it didn’t test the most important skills for college-bound students.

    The College Board has responded to these criticisms in part, but the SAT remains far from perfect. Those who write the tests and design its scoring policies are only human. And although it sometimes gets treated as one, the exam is no divine oracle for a student’s chances for post-high school success.

    Though its imperfections are many – and public – it’s not time to give up on the SAT. In fact, the test has never been more vital. As high schools around the country have changed their grading scales and ranking systems, virtually obliterating any standard way to measure academic achievement, the SAT’s role as a uniform measurement of certain skill sets has grown more and more important.

    The SAT may be a blunt instrument for judging student aptitude in a standardized way, but it’s the best instrument university admissions have available right now. American high schoolers and admissions counselors can only be helped by pushes to insure that the test is as accurate as possible and that its makers be held accountable for any errors or problems.

    As long as the SAT remains an important part of college admissions procedures around the country – and here at the UA – the College Board must be held to the highest standard in creating, administering and scoring its tests. Hopefully, this lawsuit will help do that.

    Opinions Board
    Opinions are determined by the Wildcat opinions board and written by one of its members. They are Nina Conrad, Lori Foley, Caitlin Hall, Michael Huston, Ryan Johnson and Aaron Mackey.

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