The SAT and ACT: A Measure of One’s Bank Account

The SAT and ACT: A Measure of One’s Bank Account

Editor’s note: The following is an op-ed piece.


As the college admissions process has become increasingly competitive, more and more emphasis is placed on a student’s SAT and ACT scores. These two standardized tests consume far too much time and money from both students and their parents in order to receive a near perfect score. Far too much energy is poured into a test that is not an accurate representation of a student’s intelligence, but rather, a representation of their parents’ bank account.

Colleges and universities use the SAT and ACT to determine a student’s intelligence and level of preparedness for college, even though it is usually just a measure of one’s test taking skills and preparation. Much of one’s preparation is a result of classes or private tutors, which according to, can cost $150 or more per hour. For students whose parents cannot afford to pay this kind of money, they are at a severe disadvantage when taking the test.

According to, 78 percent of schools “consider standardized test scores to be of considerable importance.” This number is far too high for a test in which high scores can be bought with the right tutor.

In order to give all students an equal opportunity to succeed on the SAT or ACT, students should be given more time, so that test taking skills are not taken into consideration on a test that is meant to judge one’s intelligence. However, this obsession with achieving a high score on these standardized tests will not go away until they are no longer an aspect of college applications.

The SAT and ACT should be eradicated from the college admissions process when deciding whether a student should be accepted or denied. Considering the fact that SAT and ACT scores are considered to be important in most admissions offices, admissions decisions should not be based off a test that is largely influenced by one’s outside help and money. Colleges need to stop accepting SAT and ACT scores in order to ensure that an admission decision is based off one’s grades and extracurricular activities, rather than an unreliable test.