Standardized testing, like the SAT and ACT, have been under attack for quite some time now. As college students, we probably all took either exam. Furthermore, we probably all hated practicing for those tests and dreaded the examination date. Despite how one may feel and the criticisms people have toward standardized testing, there are still many valid reasons to keep it.
Despite popular consensus, standardized testing is not an inferior way to predict college grades. In fact, the College Board says high school GPA predicts 33% of a student’s grade and standardized tests predict 32%. However, using both methods is best at predicting grades, up to 42%. This means that the tests are useful at predicting performance and not as ineffective as people like to claim.
Another argument for these tests is that if a student performs poorly in high school because their school had a bad curriculum and bad teachers, the student still has a shot at going to college by doing well in the exam. Many people don’t really have a choice when it comes to education and suffer because of those circumstances. Removing those exams removes a path that a good student who went to a lousy high school has when it comes to entering college because the student can no longer show his or her skill by doing good in the standardized exam.
People could claim this would not happen, but if standardized testing is able to help at least one person, then we should not be removing this person’s opportunity. College Board data backs this up by showing that kids with low high school grades but with high SAT scores perform better than students with good high school grades but low SAT scores.
A final argument against the removal of standardized testing is that it creates artificial failures by mismatching students with their school. There exists the possibility of a student going to an Ivy league college but then having to drop out because the level of education was something the student wasn’t prepared for. Removing standardized testing simply delays when their level of skill will show up later in a person’s life. With tests, students would be matched to a school where they would feel comfortable and be able to graduate with good grades. For these reasons, we should keep the standardized testing that exists at the moment.