The problems with entrance exams
Updated: Feb 3, 2019
Today, society encourages students to be academically active and achieve undreamable feats. To do so, we all strive to be accepted into the best classes, high schools, and even colleges. However, to be accepted into these high ranked positions usually consists of taking an entrance exam. Whether it’s the SHSAT, SAT, or ACT, this idea of taking a test to determine the next step of a student’s future is extremely prevalent. It is used by several programs and organizations across the world. Although there are several other factors, entrance exams take up a major portion of the whole system. This way of separating those that are more intelligent than others is extremely flawed. Entrance exams should not be a major factor in determining the intelligence of one.
Students live on studying day and night in preparation for specialized entrance exams like the SHSAT,SAT, and ACT. These tests merely determine which school they may be accepted to based on how well they score. This generic system of a single test determining one’s future is extremely flawed and unfair. A single test does not determine the true intelligence of one nor will it ever. This unjust system has led thousands of potentially world-changing students to miss out on opportunities that could have had their future take a different route.
Rather than basing a students intellect on the score of a single assessment, organizations should consider many other factors, such as their progress reports. Many students are not the most skilled in test taking. Despite being extremely smart, when it comes to taking exams, the pressure may have a huge impact on how they score. This affects a large portion of students who strive to be accepted into high ranked schools. Additionally, there are students that are simply lucky on these single exams. Although it sounds very unlikely to score high out of luck, it has happened before and demonstrates one of the many flaws that are the result of entrance exams. According to the article “New study questions value of college-entrance exams” by Bill Whitake on CBS News, “there are many, many students who may be brilliant, may be very, very talented, but are not successfully measured by speed processing,” which takes account of another serious flaw that is included in these exams, those that are not fast thinkers will not perform as well on standardized exams. Likewise, there are students that have another huge advantage when it comes to taking entrance exams. Some students prepare for these tests with \help from extremely costly private teachers/tutors and preps. Those who are not financially fortunate are not able to take advantage of special preparatory resources to help them score high on exams.
Growing up being very involved in preparing for these exams, I’ve realized that students who have similar school averages may still have substantial differences on SAT grades. This goes to show that those who attend after-school tutors have a higher advantage over those who do not. College admissions have also shown a weak correlation between test scores and academic strengths, and have supported the use of GPA as a much more accurate representation. As a result of these flaws, entrance exams portray an imprecise reflection of one’s intelligence and thus, entrance exams need to be changed.