Potential Changes to the College Admissions Process and the ACT / SAT
Will the ACT and SAT eventually become phased out?
By Drew Sarmiere - October 11, 2019
Standardized tests like the ACT and SAT are contraversial in terms of their ability to accurately measure students' readiness for college, which is, of course, exactly what they are supposed to do. As Peak's founder, I have almost 15 years of test prep experience and can say first hand that the ACT and the SAT are not an accurate measure of a student and his or her potential for future success in college or beyond. The problem with these tests is twofold: one, no test will accurately measure a student's future potential very effectively (there are simply too many factors that make this determiniation); two, what the ACT and SAT best measure more than anything else is processing speed. Unfortunately, processing speed is not an indicator of intelligence, ability, or college readiness.
Processing speed is a measure of how fast
students can process information. It is not, however, a measure of how well or how deeply students process and understand the information. In other words, slow processing students can have a deep understanding of material and vice versa. The issue with these tests is that both the ACT and SAT limit the amount of time students have to complete the tests, so much so that many students struggle to complete each section of the tests. As it turns out, this time limit is a major differentiator in students' scores. In short, how quickly or slowly a student can get through the test will greatly impact his or her score, and this will reflect either negatively or positively as a measure of a student's readiness for college when it should not.
Futher complicating matters, wealthier students can access ACT and SAT test prep while poorer students cannot, further widening the gap in equality in college admissions. This is why, at Peak, we work hard to partner with schools to provide discounted and free ACT and SAT test prep support for at-risk students. However, I still wrestle with these standardized tests and how well they measure that which they are meant to. The college admissions process and the ACT and SAT continue to evolve over time; hopefully, they will evolve into more effective measures of student college readiness and the playing field can become more fair.
Attached is an article you may find interesting regarding these controversial tests. If you ever have any questions about the SAT or ACT, please don't hesitate to reach out. At Peak, we are committed to guiding students and families of all backgrounds through the test prep and college admissions process.
Peak Learning Solutions: offices offering ACT and SAT test prep and College Admissions Counseling in Cherry Creek, Denver; DTC, Greenwood Village; and Wilmington, NC.