Sat Scores and Student Opinions


Nikolas Sahami

From as early as elementary school, students across the nation are taught how to take standardized tests in preparation for one day taking the SAT or ACT. For most Fairview juniors, that day has come. The free school-supervised SAT for Juniors was administered on Wednesday, April 13th, and, many students had strong opinions about it.

The most common opinion held by students was that any practice was beneficial, whether they took practice tests or not. 

“The practice tests helped a lot, especially in pacing myself,” said junior Eve Garrity Jacobs. 

Even students who did not take any practice tests felt like they had been prepared for the SAT test-taking style by other standardized tests in the past, such as the PSAT last year. 

“I took the PSAT sophomore year. Practice taking standardized tests does help, especially with time management on the SAT,” said junior Porter Larson. 

In addition to getting practice from previous standardized tests, many teachers also try to prepare their students for the SAT. 

As a math department, we try to get our juniors to do the best they can on the SAT, as there is a minimum score required by the state of Colorado to graduate from high school. There are other ways to prove competency in math towards graduation, but the SAT is something that all students must complete, so we might as well use it to our advantage,” said math teacher Terrin Kelly.

While many students felt that it went well, many also believe that standardized testing, in general is a misrepresentation of students’ knowledge. 

“I do not think standardized testing of any kind is beneficial. Testing scores are largely based on kids’ access to resources (which includes household income), and also test-taking ability, both of which not being accurate measures of intelligence,” said Garrity Jacobs. 

This opinion was not uncommon in the building, as many other students supplied similar responses. 

“I think they don’t show anything, and I think they don’t show you if you’re ready for the future, because not everyone is a good test taker and that’s not their fault,” said junior Ellie Hein. 

In addition to the common consensus that standardized test-taking is largely based on uncontrollable factors, students at Fairview such as Larson argue that these tests do not simulate real-world conditions, furthering their irrelevance. 

“I don’t think standardized tests are really beneficial as it is not a remotely good model for most college work or post high school endeavors,” said Larson.

On the other hand, certain teachers feel that standardized tests can be used in ways to help the school and the community. 

“I think some standardized tests can be helpful. If the information allows us to improve our instruction and student performance, it is beneficial. If the results are used as to be punitive, for students, teachers, or schools, then it is being used incorrectly,” said Kelly. 

In the case of the SAT, however, bad scores that are submitted to colleges are used in punitive ways, and may deter a college from admitting a student who could otherwise be top-achieving, andbut just a bad test taker.

Due to the pandemic, many colleges in the past two years have stopped requiring students to send in their SAT scores, and many students are grateful. 

“It’s good that colleges aren’t requiring [the SAT],” said junior Shirley Bierkatz. “I love it because I think that it shows that people are still successful in college without their test scores, and they have facts to prove that, so I think more colleges should do it,” said Hein.

While most students are happy that colleges have made SAT scores optional, some believe that this is not enough, and standardized tests should not be allowed at all, due to the unfair advantages that they can still provide to those with unequal benefits. 

“I am glad scores are being phased out, but I think they should not be optional and be prohibited. O; otherwise, the kids who got higher scores from unfair advantages —  like money for a private tutor —  are still going to be able to use those scores to get in [to better colleges],” stated Garrity Jacobs.

With more and more colleges in the last few years removing their SAT score requirements, many students keep a hopeful eye to the future, but nobody knows for certain what will happen in the years to come. As of right now, most students are just hoping they did well enough on the SAT to not have to take it again.