WestSide Story

SAT: big stress, little value

Madison Aeschbacher, Reporter

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Throughout every high school student’s career, we all stress over taking, essentially, one of the biggest tests of our school career. In all reality, should we be stressing over just another standardized test? Why is this test so frustratingly terrifying to us even though we have been taking tests like this our entire lives?

In all reality, this test has no face value in the real adult world. Yes, it is a college entrance exam and all colleges look at your scores, but other than your student aid or entrance to the colleges you apply to, this test will get you nowhere. Adults are never asked to provide this information on job applications. When asked how she felt about the SAT, Amadaia Blair (11) said, “I don’t really think that it shows your academic skills.”

Alongside having no real value, the SAT has ridiculous protocols for the testing centers. In case of a medical emergency such as an epileptic seizure or hemorrhage during the testing period, the whole room is to be evacuated, and all testing students in the room will have voided scores.

Test takers cannot have a water bottle, snacks, or even mechanical pencils. These are extremely uncomfortable, frustrating protocols. Courteney Boyes (11) shared, “I haven’t sat in an actual desk since my freshman year. Sitting in Beck’s room, in a weird way in the desk killed my back.” Many teachers or administrators may think this is just us being whiney millennials, but when you’re being deprived your freedom to basic human necessities like water until the designated break time, that seems to be the biggest distraction.

On the economical view, the “free” SAT for all juniors costs an awful lot to the taxpayers of Idaho. Each test costs $42.50 per student. If all of the 295 juniors at Skyline take the SAT that is administered for no cost to the student, the taxpayers of Idaho pay $12,537.50 a year for a nearly pointless test that many students don’t even attempt to write their own names on, and that is just one high school in the state. I personally am a working class taxpayer who really hates the fact that money–that I work for and earn every single day–is being taken out of my paycheck for a worthless test that some kids only attend the session to show they were there so they can get a diploma. Even though I may only be 17, I’m still paying for a test that is supposed to be “free” for all juniors to take each year.

I’m not saying students shouldn’t take the SAT or try on the test, because they most certainly should because it really can help them get to college if they so choose to attend. But ask yourselves these questions and decide where you stand: Should every high school student be required to take an expensive test that has no actual value in their adult lives if they aren’t going to college? Should they be sacrificing sleep to study for this test while continuing to support their grades? Should they let their mental health deteriorate from worry, or flatten their self esteem because they were confused the whole test and didn’t get a perfect score?

Perhaps we could find a better test or a wider variety of choices that are actually worthwhile for each student in his or her future.  For some, it might be the SAT, but for others, there are likely better options.

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SAT: big stress, little value