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Q&A With a Student Who Logged A Perfect SAT Score

This student achieved a 1600 on the SAT -- he shares what worked for him. https://insights.collegeconfidential.com/perfect-sat-score
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Replies to: Q&A With a Student Who Logged A Perfect SAT Score

  • AcuriousgirlAcuriousgirl 29 replies18 threads Junior Member
    Just some curious thoughts: Someday in the future, it would really be amazing if we were able to incorporate a system that is a better predicament of success in college. While I was studying for the SAT, I would constantly see ads on Youtube that began with this sentence: "The SAT only tests your abilities on mastering the SAT." Why then, would we place so much value into a test that shifts the tide a little in favor of some individuals over another? Why would we base admissions into a school on a test with concepts that don't truly measure student aptitude? It's a really sad reality that this is what the U.S. has continued to maintain in practice (and I have good faith that more and more schools will switch over to test-optional eventually!) Given the ridiculously high salary that the people at the top of Collegeboard get, I wonder if perhaps someday the system will fall apart.
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  • gardenstategalgardenstategal 6722 replies10 threads Senior Member
    ^^ In reality, success in college depends on many things, and it also differs from one area of concentration to another. It may depend on a level of quantitative ability, ability to read quickly and with a high level of comprehension, the ability to write well (perhaps under time constraints but often not), research capabilities, musical or artistic ability, self-discipline, time management, networking ability and people skills, to name a few.

    At some level, this is what admissions officers are looking for as they make their decisions. Standardized tests are a reflection of some part of this that may be more or less relevant to an applicant's expected field of study. Conservatories and MT programs admit primarily through auditions, engineering schools need top scores in math and science and need an objective measure of achievement in those areas to ensure a student will be successful in their program the way they teach it, humanities and social sciences require a different skill set. Standardized tests DO measure one's ability to perform a specific kind of task under time pressure. Many college students in many areas of study will in fact need that ability to handle the workload and keep up in class. But it's not the single determinant of success and in some instances, a less important one. In my mind, it's like testing a soccer player's running speed. It's hard to excel in most positions without having a certain amount of speed and quickness but without a whole lot of other skills, being fast is meaningless. But then there's the goalkeeper who needs a whole different set of skills. And you could be a good athlete but not a good soccer player....

    Personally, I lament the emphasis on testing and particularly for tests for which one can prep and significantly improve one's score. It is also difficult for colleges when educational and grading standards vary so widely from school to school to truly compare applicants. Long gone are the days when each college could require its own entrance exam (which highly favored boys coming out of feeder prep schools.) This seems to be part of the price we've paid for democratization of higher ed. Maybe we'll get it better over time.

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  • lovesamranaalovesamranaa 28 replies0 threads Junior Member
    To do well on these tests requires a lot of practice especially if you're lacking in an area. I would get books made by the test makers themselves to get the closest to the exam format as possible.
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  • sorghumsorghum 3657 replies116 threads Senior Member
    If it measures intelligence, that's good because smarter kids should get more college opportunities. If it measures preparation, that's good because if you put in the grim determination to succeed in SAT you likely will work hard as a student. If it measures good family background (good reading skills and vocabulaty, etc.), then it will encourage all families to read more and push for better schools.
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  • hurricane314hurricane314 79 replies17 threads Junior Member
    edited December 2019
    I stumbled across this thread, and couldn't help reviving it to throw in my two cents. @sorghum I agree with your point in the benefits of measuring preparation, but that doesn't mean everyone is able to prepare. A low-income student may only be able to check out books for the local library, while a high-income student will received a few thousand dollars worth of personal studying. My main peeve is that, if we're not going to diminish the reliance on these tests, why not expand free resources so that more students are able to better prepare for it?

    The free SAT prep with Khan Academy was a good start, for instance, though I feel like they could be doing more. Not to go off on a tangent, but that's the issue I had with College Board's short lived "adversity score": it focused on accounting for educational inequality rather than trying to fix it by expanding more free SAT prep partnerships.
    edited December 2019
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