Will The SAT Become Illegal?
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Will The SAT Become Illegal?

College admission in the U.S. is more competitive than ever before. Over the past five years, all Ivy League schools have been admitting fewer students from their total applicant pools, despite the fact that there are more students submitting applications. With acceptance rates at top colleges and universities falling to record or near record lows, high school students and wealthy families like in the Varsity Blues scandal. College admissions cheating scandal. With this new charge of conspiracy to commit bribery, Lori Loughlin can get an additional five years behind bars. Are feeling more pressure to do whatever they can to get into elite schools. That’s because a college degree, especially from an elite school, has been shown to translate to better employment prospects and a higher income. As the stakes are getting higher to attain a bachelor’s degree, college admission has been under increased scrutiny. I don’t think it’s an achievement test. I think it shows an achievement gap. Now, the University of California is facing a lawsuit from a group of students, educators and advocates over its use of S.A.T. and A.C.T. in college admissions decisions. The result of this suit could heavily influence all college admission processes in the U.S., as the University of California is one of the biggest public university systems in the country. In a statement to CNBC, a spokesperson for the University of California wrote, “As part of our comprehensive review process, evaluators look beyond test scores and grades to evaluate applicants achievements in light of the opportunities available to them. The plaintiffs argue that S.A.T. and A.C.T. exams are discriminatory against underprivileged and underrepresented applicants because not all students have the economic means and resources to study for them. The UC Regents, which say there are problems with the S.A.T., this exam that at best measures how a student will do in the first year at the UC system. We find that unacceptable. However, proponents of the S.A.T. believe that standardized tests are important in predicting applicants ability to succeed in college and leveling the playing fields. Because testing agencies really do a lot to try and make sure tests are not biased and to focus on the test as the problem is to avoid the problem.So are the S.A.T. and the A.C.T. actually discriminatory? And why did they exist in the first place? My name is Kawika Smith, I’m 17 years old and I attend Reverend Day High School, which is located in South Los Angeles. The plaintiffs argue that standardized tests put underprivileged and minority students at a disadvantage by creating a lucrative test prep industry and repeatedly producing test questions that are biased against black and Hispanic students.The tests show that only 1% of black students and 2% of latinx students scored in the top bracket, compared to 12% of white students, which is to me, a shame. A number of the youth leaders that did everything that they needed to do. They did really well academically, but they didn’t have the means either at home or the support on their campuses to prepare for the S.A.T./A.C.T. The College Board told CNBC that the S.A.T. is achievement based and research based.College admissions tests like the S.A.T., the A.C.T. and other tests like Advanced Placement used to provide information to admissions officers to learn more about the people playing to their college.Two months after the suit was filed, University of California released a report from its Academic Council’s Standardized Testing Task Force recommending the UC system keep the S.A.T. and A.C.T. as an admission requirement. More and more, we’re seeing our students receive rejection letters even when their GPAs and their leadership, their extracurricular activities and what it comes down to is that their S.A.T. score was too low. Many colleges require standardized exams for admission to see whether the applicant has the potential to succeed academically and graduate on time. In May 2019, the College Board conducted a series of studies to show the validity of the S.A.T. for predicting first year grades and second year retention. The study says the higher your total score on the S.A.T., the higher your first year GPA. However, the plaintiffs in the suit argue that these studies only take two predictors of college success into account: S.A.T. scores and high school GPA. It didn’t control any factors relating to socio-economic status. The S.A.T. was first introduced in 1926 in an effort to standardize the college admissions process and increase access to higher education. The College Board, a private nonprofit organization in the United States, owns, develops and publishes the S.A.T. In 2017, it had roughly $1.068 billion of revenue. Its creator, Karl Brigham, based the test on previous IQ tests that measured intelligence and aptitude as suggested by its original name, the Scholastic Aptitude Test. As more Ivy League universities and private institutions started using the S.A.T., the Educational Testing Service, E.T.S was founded in 1947 to administer and develop the test. Then in 1959, the A.C.T. entered the testing market and became an alternative exam for applicants. So the idea here is to not advantage or disadvantage people by having different rules to different games, but rather provide something uniform where people can really be evaluated with respect to the same things. However, the notion that the S.A.T. was founded as a test of intelligence rather than mastery of high school subject matter is what ignites controversies regarding race and socioeconomic biases. In September 2015, Inside HigherEd reported that in each of the three sections of the S.A.T., the lowest average scores were among students from families who make less than $20,000 in family income. Meanwhile, the highest average scores were among those with more than $200,000 and family income. Taking standardized tests comes with costly fees and even higher prices to prepare for them. The basic registration fee for the S.A.T. is $49.50. It’s $65 if you take the test with the essay. The basic fee waiver that the College Board and other groups make available is a first step, but it doesn’t bite anywhere in nearly the whole iceberg of costs associated with admissions testing.Both College Board and A.C.T. offer their official test prep guides on their website.But most affluent families go beyond these test prep books to help their children study for these exams. Kaplan, the Princeton Review and Ivy Bound are just a few examples of test prep academies that offer online classes, in-person classes and private tutoring. According to MarketWatch. Students who work with a private tutor generally spend 20 to 30 hours, meaning wealthy parents are paying upwards of $10,000. It’s a great investment by middle class and wealthy families. According to IBISWorld, the test preparation franchises industry is expected to report a total revenue of $1.1 billion for 2019. Of that, no exam preparation services are anticipated to account for 25% of revenue. From 2019 to 2024, the industry revenue is predicted to increase an annualized 1.8 % to $1.2 billion. In addition to socioeconomic biases, the plaintiffs in the suit further added that standardized tests have shown discrimination against minority students. I think seeing what the student’s involvement in a community are, their responsibility, as well as the rigor in the course load, will kind of give you a more comprehensive understanding of the student and if they’re the right fit for that school.The plaintiffs claimed that by repeatedly producing a score distribution that compares students with one another, the test development process continuously discards items on which minority students perform well and retains questions on which they do not. In fact, UC psychometricians found that up to 12% of items on the S.A.T. are biased against black students and up to 10% of items are biased against Latinx students. For us, this is data that the UC Regents has and it’s showing that there is both a negative bias and a discriminatory practice. However, the College Board denied those claims to CNBC by saying that it has very strict measures and specifications for every question it gives out to test takers. The College Board stated that if students of various races respond differently to the same question they discarded immediately. The Fairness Review Panel then evaluates all the questions again before they decide to administer the exam.The inadequate investment in schools, in communities like South Los Angeles, really puts them at a disadvantage when they have to do well on a standardized test. Why put barriers in front of talented kids who would otherwise gain access to a great college or university, when we didn’t need to have those barriers. In response to growing criticisms surrounding the S.A.T College Board relaunched its Environmental Context Dashboard as a new tool called Landscape. Landscape averages six neighborhood indicators and six high school indicators and provides a rating for each factor on a scale from 1 to 100. This creates comparative percentiles for colleges to look at in their application review process. Educational tests are limited in what they can predict with respect to success in college. However, standardized tests provide very useful information in addition to grades and other sources of information. So I think we want to give college admissions officers as much information as possible that they can use to make the decisions they have to make.College Board and the National Council on Measurement Education recognize the issues faced by lower income students and minority students. However, they believe that simply getting rid of standardized exams will not solve these problems. We know that education is correlated with income. So the criticism that the S.A.T. or the A.C.T. is correlated with income really just shows that the test is measuring education. It’s measuring what it’s supposed to be measuring.Proponents of standardized exams argue that achievement gaps across different ethnic and socioeconomic groups exist at a very early age. They believe that more educators should talk about better solutions and resources for schools rather than getting rid of the tests. I think if we start to level the playing field at that level, we’ll start to see improvements throughout the education system, and of course, for college admissions too. In recent years, a significant number of U.S. colleges have adopted alternative admission policies such as test-optional. Right now, there are 1,080 accredited bachelor degree granting institutions that will make admissions decisions about all our many applicants without regard to test scores. What we label test-optional schools. The University of Chicago is one of the higher educational institutions that launched a test-optional admissions in 2018. We do know that in some cases, especially in rural high school or in inner city high schools or abroad do not have access to the kind of intensive test preparation processes that other students have available.Rather than assessing applicants standardized test scores, the admissions officers focus on student’s secondary school report, high school transcript and teacher recommendations. The university also allows all applicants to submit a wide range of supplemental materials, such as creative writing projects, highlights from music, dance or theater performance and school capstone projects. As a result, for the class of 2023, University of Chicago saw a 24% increase in first generation college going students, 10% increase in African-American students, 17% increase in Hispanic or Latino students, and a 60% increase in applications from rural students. The S.A.T.scores are fine, they’re useful, but they’re not the end of the world. They’re not everything and we need to be more flexible, it seems to me, in the ways in which we think about access to these great institutions. While the test-optional policy has improved diversity in student bodies, some are concerned that it doesn’t completely eradicate the stigmatization of underrepresented students as applicants may still choose to submit their scores. Only 10 to 15 percent of students in the freshman class at University of Chicago did not submit their S.A.T. scores. It would make no sense for us to announce we are test-optional publicly and then privately begin to discriminate against students who don’t submit S.A.T. scores. That would be fundamentally irresponsibly dishonest. I think it is a step in the right direction overall for U. Chicago, which is a prestigious school. I think that goes to show if they can do it, so can the UC’s.While higher education institutions and education experts still search for better policies. The plaintiffs in the University of California lawsuit believe that solely making standardized tests optional does not suffice. If the University of California system loses the suit, the higher education landscape could change forever.


  • Sincerely _Y

    They completely ignore Asian ethics, act like just Hispanic and Black people are being discriminated against. I don't think Asian is rich at the beginning, to achieve that success they have to work really hard and what all of that likely to become meaningless just because some people don't work hard enough, they spend time to build up their body all day and want to go to the top colleges ? Although I'm not Asian American This is too much to stand.

  • Jaccy Ho

    Yeah all test are discriminatory against lazy and dumb kids, we should just get rid of all tests so everyone can get a Yale degree. This is such a beautiful leftist equal world!

  • Peter k

    I've seen what happens to high schools and colleges that can't objectively measure performance. They start giving credit for remedial education and the Pythagorean Theorem gets out of reach for a lot of "college" students. If you want to turn a college degree into the 70s equivalent of graduating from 8th grade, you continue with this idea that there is no objective testing.

  • An Duong

    2:47 asians are also very underrepresented and whatever the blacks call themselves as well but we still do well. Its not who you are that decides its how much effort you put in what you do that decides your results.

  • voji boji

    good thing i live in alberta canada. we just have a final exam kind of thing for each of the grade 12 subjects that is only worth 30% while 70% is left to class work.

  • Sanjay Gandhi

    You could buy a Barron's ACT test prep book like I did for $10 in 1988. I prepared for a full year before taking the test.

    I beat the scores of many of my smarter friends some of whom took the Kaplan ACT course.

  • David Wangbichler

    Quit complaining because your dumber than someone else. That dumbness test keeps people who shouldn't be in college from spending a lot of money on an education that they will fail at. Not everyone should go to college.

  • Y T

    You talk about SAT/ACT issues but you don’t mention anything about how colleges set a much higher bar for Asian applicants test scores?

  • blab600

    I think the problem lies not in the SAT test itself, but the US education as a whole. I moved to US after 9th grade/standard from India. I am going to finish my bachelors in engineering this may. I have noticed certain things in this system. Students who finished high school come out in different ends of the education/knowledge scale in terms of what they are TAUGHT and what they LEARNED.

    Different states in the US has different requirements of what classes are needed to graduate high school. So students can finish it without any grasp on physics, chemistry, biology, calculus, statistics, and other core math/science classes because it is required to take only one or few of them but not all of them. (These classes are not the only classes needed in high school, but they are the knowledge foundation that help in learning other subjects.) Also in math, the subjects are split into algebra 1, geometry, algebra 2. This means when you are taught one subtopic in math, the other subtopic in is not touched at all. Ex: If algebra is taught in current semester then geometry is not taught at the same semester. The splitting of subtopics for only a semester cause students to forget that subtopic after the semester. I would prefer to have a math/science classes where each subtopic is taught every semester and the difficulty level is incremented every semester.

    Since the state have different graduation requirements, there are high schools in the rural or low income that have just enough classes to meet the requirements and thats it. This means that those schools have classes in math, science, etc. that max out at much lower level than schools that have the funding. Ex: The highest math class offered is precalculus vs multivariable calculus between different school.

    Now comes the ENTRANCE EXAMS (SAT/ACT).

    SAT is mainly 2 part english and 1 part math (geometry and algebra) test. ACT have more variety of subjects. I have only taken SAT, so I cannot comment on ACT. These tests do not fully evaluate much on their knowledge or skills needed for degrees/programs they intent to go into. Ex: For engineering, the math level of the SAT is not on par with degree they are jumping into. Also, there is no science part in SAT. This would lead to problems in the college later on.

    The college/university education have a knowledge/difficulty jump instead of a linear growth from high schools. This is felt by underprivileged students the most. In college of engineering, students come in from different knowledge levels because of the reasons stated above. The engineering programs at these universities take in much more students than they are capable of. So to filter out students, they have weed out classes in the first few semesters that are much harder than they are supposed to be. A lot of the students would switch majors after these class. This comes with more student loans, more money for the University. I think problem can be mitigated by having specialized standardized entrance exams for these majors. There are countries with special entrance exams for specific majors. (engineering, medical, etc).

    Students going through this system would come out the other side with student loans, debt, knowledge gaps, dropouts, hating on higher education. In general, hating the system. I think the current system do discriminate based on the income because of all these underlying problem. But instead of whining about the tests themselves, people should be COMPLAINING FOR A BETTER EDUCATION SYSTEM FROM THE GROUND UP. Third world countries have better upward mobility than rural America.

    Im ending with a quote i remember from Sal Khan (Khan Academy): 'If you were to ask people from 1600s 'What percent of population could read and write with the best education?'. They might say like 10% at most. But we know now that it is close to 100%."

  • Unknown Error

    Please help: simply put, do middle school grades matter in college admission? And I've lost most of my report cards, do I need to present them?

  • Tone Capone

    This is a joke. Black people do bad on SATs so it’s a racist test ???? Wow are we going to give welfare diplomas now too

  • zhantao li

    So why does Asian tend to get such a high admission rate, even under the circumstance that English is their secondary language, are they wealthier than those who come from South America or Africa,? not necessarily correct right? Those people should stop complaining, instead on studying diligently .

  • Tone Capone

    Are brains racist ? Does intelligence favor Asian and White people ? Should all brains be surgically removed from their heads ? This , next ….on WTF American News

  • Daniel Hom

    Since all students are different and unique, many of them will go into taking these standardized tests knowing that the results will not by any means be even close to a solid predictor of their ability to succeed in college. We should abolish all standardized tests for admissions to higher education immediately!

  • Ilhan Ozdemir

    hey, let's get real. If foreign high school students (such as myself 10 years ago) can get 2k+ scores on SAT1 and full scores on SAT2s, with English as a second language and NOT studying specifically for SATs; American kids should be able to do it as well. SAT's are already so easy, it is almost unreal that they do university admissions based on it. If there is a problem here, it is probably in the quality of education and curriculums. Strengthen the public education system and SAT won't be a discriminatory factor…

  • Keita Marislo

    From an outsider's perspective, this argument is beyond idiocy . You study what is required not change what is asked. Also how the so called student ignored how 24% Asians got the top marks but just mentions 12% whites, if anything this means Asians are exploiting whites and all others by the student's logic.

  • rendy pulungan

    Black people complaining its discriminitory against minorities but asian are minority too and they achieved high score.

  • cacing tanah

    My question is, why did they argue about gap, in fact Asian got 24% on it. It doubled the percentage of White… why? Oh why?

  • Wibnulsi

    I wish I was raised in the us…seeing these whiny kids they really don't know what is real competition. You are all blessed born in the us.

  • Just an ordinary man

    This is crazy! So not only we give everyone trophies, now they want to get rid of standard tests! You know we compete with other countries where in India, the times table goes to 20. And in S. Korea and Japan h.s.kids study till midnight! Why don't we get rid of college all together. So no one is competent to do anything. Why do we even teach kids. Maybe teaching itself is discriminatory. This sounds like Mao's cultural revolution getting rid of all books and teachers!

  • Georges Obayi

    There are many people taking issue with this in the comments right now. I suggest they think of the last SAT they took. It has wildly changed over the years. It’s wrong to assume your experience is representative of that of students now.

  • TheNacropolice

    No test is perfect, but not having any tests is foolish. At this time we have at least some way to measure a student's achievements. If we go purely by school scores I fear we will set up the kids for failure. Sadly an A in a highly competitive school in a wealthy area is probably far stronger than an A in a low income school. Of course the latter I assume then people will accuse college education to be racist because it doesn't give people from poorer areas a flat GPA booster.

    Let's put it this way, whilst struggles do exist, blaming a test for you no succeeding is foolish and it short sells yourself.

  • Daniel De saint malo

    This is totally absurd to censor SAT. This is discrimination to kids with good grades. Theirs a truth and is that life is hard but you need to fight it if you want to die peacefully.

  • Linda Harper

    This just goes to show you, how did Trump do on this? hahaha, just a joke! I mean he is an example of "Make America Great! Again! And Loves Kim Jong! And The great leader Comrade Kim Jong-il provides on-the-spot guidance to the Ragwon Machine Complex.

  • bwiin

    "standardized tests put underprivileged and minority students at a disadvantage"

    >ignores the Asian 24% statistic. Are Asians not minorities anymore?
    If you're going to create a narrative with statistics at least don't put it on the screen.

  • Kingslayer

    Go to a library and study harder. You don't do poor kids any favours by letting them in if they're not equipped for it whether black, white, Hispanic, Asian or otherwise. Getting accepted doesn't mean they'll graduate.

  • Kasper

    So, taking the US ethnicity distribution into account, white people are 2x more likely than african americans to get that 1400-1600 score, while asians are 27x more likely than white people. I don't think that's because white people are extremely poor, so perhaps there are different factors at play

  • DPRX

    Don’t forget it’s in CNBC and every other “media outlets” benefit to keep you fat and dumb, so of course they’re going to create a story where they argue tests are racist

  • Joe King

    Yes, they completely ignored the fact that 24% of Asians placed in the top bracket and a majority (38%) of whites placed in the middle bracket. So, while there are more rich white people in this country, money isn't the only reason.

    Oh, and like always the indigenous don't count. Only 1% indigenous showed in the top bracket also.

  • Wibnulsi

    I want to join NBA too. like hell i want to roll in a dough like many other blacks and hispanic people but they never accept me because they think i'm short (5'11 btw, 182 cm) and i'm not qualified. I literally tried everything i could and they didn't even give me a shot and would exclude me because i'm an asian male. F*** them. This is systemic discrimination. I insist an immediate acceptance and 1/4 quota for Asians because god damn we are not f***in well represented in this society despite the fact we are just as passionate to the sports as the others. This is not fair at all. ASIAN LIVES MATTER!!

  • Bory Man

    Some people really excel at competitive learning, others fail miserably. I think this argument made is about equity. The front lines of this battle will be drawn exhaustively. The tests reinforce competitive learning it has nothing to do with the disadvantages of an economic or cultural disposition.

  • James Ghelarducci

    The reason higher income students do better is because the have smart parents, and they pass those traits onto their kids.

  • jack black

    This news report is racist against whites.
    This report boils done to this I'm black their for I cannot do as well as any other race.

  • Jerry Lifsey

    Shouldn't the students who find it difficult to pass the test sue their high schools for failing to teach them?

  • Dennis Walker

    Awww , someone didn't get what they thought they were entitled to . So now they want to force everyone to drop their standards . I noticed this video never mentioned the affirmative action bias mandated by law that requires whites to score higher than blacks and Latinos and Asians to score higher than whites .

  • KimiDesu

    I hate tests in general and think they should be abolished. But he’s right, this is a shame on us as a people. We need to do better. No one needs to lower or bring themselves down to us. We need to figure out what’s stopping us from succeeding. If it’s money, make these tests more accessible. But I know the issue goes deeper beyond that.

  • Jonathan Jong

    Many "asians" (term encompassing vast amount of cultures and demographics) grew up poor and unprivileged as well.

  • Tate Schmaltz

    You ignored Asians being over-represented in elite colleges. Jews are also counted as "white" in those statistics about white people. Black and Hispanic acceptance rates would be even lower if it weren't for legal discrimination/affirmative actions quotas against Asian and European Americans.

  • Skeptical Chris

    Education is deeply ingrained in Asian cultures as are strong motivations for study, in particular East Asian, or oriental cultures such as Chinese, Japanese and Korean cultures where Confucian influenced cultures. The ancient use of civil service examinations in the orient is deeply rooted in the cultures of these societies for centuries.

  • Frankie Fontecchio

    This is an absurd lawsuit the SAT is bias against blacks is just is as ridiculous as the recent claim that AI is biased against minorities

  • Skeptical Chris

    The solution is simple.

    Completely eliminate any sense of student identity in the test.

    Offer no place in the test that requires a student to identify their gender, age, sexually, religion or even their cultural background.

    Assign every student who writes an SAT a number only and have what number as their identifier and make it illegal to consider anything about the students identity in the test for admissions, may the test scores speak for themselves.

    I anyways thought that merit was more important than an e colour, at messy that's what Martin Luther King said.

  • Sergio Nieto

    How will we know whats in peoples brains?? Lets make the SAT harder! No multiple choice! Lucky people can score high guessing!! WAKE UP! Let them write in their answer! Aska a question leave a blank space! You must write the answer not check- in a circle or box!

  • Poopin Finoopin

    how about getting rid of the arbitrary requirement for degrees in jobs that have no use for it? how about not helping fund the education industrial complex by providing federal loans for students who shouldn't quality for college and getting rid of useless majors that provide no relevancy or tangible benefit in the real-world job market?

  • Brayan Nunez

    So it's wrong to be smarter than someone? Your score has nothing to do with your wealth or race, u either are smart or not or you work for a better score or not

  • Magnets Travel

    Hahah why Asian are doing good not only here but same around the world, because Asian parent put there kid first & sacrifice every thing for there children. I don’t know how long this Black victimhood has to go, we also discourages specially in Europe but we keep going on.

  • Armchair warrior

    If they take out the race out of equation. Would be fair. What ever happen to color blindness. It only matters when liberals say it matters.

  • faith of intelligence

    It’s about the family culture,the poorer families might care less about children education and has worse influence to children at home.But last but not least,the most important reason is because those students are lazy, they either don’t realize how important is to enter into a university or they are too lazy to study or they don’t have resources to study ,a good environment to motivate them to be better

  • Jaycee Williams

    It's not really bias to that people can't afford sat and act testing, at least not on the test part. The bigger focus needs to be on the differences of school systems

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