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SAT And ACT Tests Are Not Accurate Ways to Measure Someone’s Intelligence


Many college base admissions come from the results of standardized tests called the SAT and the ACT. The ACT measures what a student already knows, whereas, SAT predicts andmeasures what a student is capable of learning. It was aformalrequirementfor each student to undertake the tests before getting to primary and secondary schools.Since the industrial revolution in the US, standardized exams were undertakento testa large number of studentsquickly.It was alsosigned into law in 2001 that there had to be SAT and ACT tests before students willing to enter college to determine their intellectual ability in learning and determine the quality educationfor all students. Nevertheless, standardized tests are not accuratemeasuresfor analyzing the quality of student education ordeterminingstudents’ intellectual capability.

Dialogic Discussion

From undertaken studies, it ismanifest that most of these tests often inhibit biases. According to a 2013 reportby Annie E CaseyFoundation, thereisa depictionof inequality in the types of testsundertaken between the poor and the rich (Roell, 2019). There is a clearbiasand gap between children from low-income and wealthier families when undertaking the tests. In general,undertakingthesestandardizedtestsare a way of evaluating the abilities ofa student (Derrell, 2015). This is since the testinvolves beak down the entirestudents’knowledge into just four categories of English, reading,math,andScience, which hardly covers the scope of topics in which students may excel (Brennan, 2016).The testsfail to focus on otherstrengths a childcan possess, including excelling in games, technical works, or any other field not covered in the tests. This hencediscriminatesthe child and fails to evaluate the abilities a child has thoroughly.

People’sbrains do not function the same, a factor that these tests tend to ignore. Some students may be under stress or pressurewhen taking the teststhan others, whichSuch factors are not considered when undertaking such tests, which clearlyaffects the resultsand negatively affects some of the students.Both the SAT and ACT tests were createdto require little backgroundknowledge other than takingstandardized tests. The tests, according to Derrell, (2015) majorly favor those who have the necessaryresources in producing good scores. The students who are lucky enough to afford to practice and having tutorials of the tests often score better than the lessprivileged in the society (Brennan, 2016).Practicing and having tutorials of sucha test improves one’s scores, especially when test-taking strategies specific to ACT. The tips and tricks are taught by people who know the format of the exams.However,suchtests come at highcosts, hence not for those who may lack the funds to pay for the tutoring.

The SAT and ACT tests are not the most accurate ways of measuring someone’s intellectual ability because some of the most intelligent and brilliant minds received or ACT scores. They were initially deemed to be intellectually inferior, but later they turned out to be some of theworld’s greatest minds (Tate, 2016).This is proof that thesetestsshould not be used to determinea students’ abilities or how best he can score since it has been proven that tests do not often give themostaccurate information regarding the capability of the students (Brennan, 2016).It also means that the tests may discourage a student from further exploring his/herabilities. This may ultimatelyaffect their confidence in theirabilities, making them fail to succeed further since they have previously been told of theirinabilities.According to (Brennan, 2016), the SAT and ACT tests only measure what has beenlearned in schooland how well one has taken the standardizedtest.There are also multiple ways of scoringpoorly at the tests, including lack of sleep, test anxiety, improper preparation, illness, and many other factors thatshould not mean that one is intellectuallydisadvantaged (Roell, 2019).The tests also indicateone’s ability to take notes, listen in class, articulate in group work, or leaning in high school, where the lack of success at either SAT or ACT tests does not meanthat one is apoor student.

Many Collegeadministrationsbelieve that the SAT and ACT tests are the only suitable ways of determining one’sintelligence. They also believe that only through such tests can one be ready to get enrolledinto their institution (Brennan, 2016). However, the tests are weighed too heavily when it comes to determininga student’s readiness to be administered. This is sinceother better and more efficient ways could be used to determine the preparednessand readiness for such tests (Tate, 2016). If a college spent more timefocusing on a student, they could easily identify if they are ready to join the college rather than concentrate on statistics.

Another major flaw of the ACT and SAT tests is that the numerous subjects in the high school’s curriculum are brushed away, where subjects such as History, social studies, and science are all ignored.Subjects such as English and advanced mathematics are given too much focus in the tests (Tate, 2016).As much as science is technicallyintegrated into the learning, it is reduced to onlystudying complex gaps and interpretingtheirresults, which is a very proportion of what Science entails.Apart from ignoring some of the crucial subjects in high schools, the tests also ignore multitudes of areas where students could be strong.Some of the subjects in which students could be excellent but are not included in the test include music, engineering theology, all of which are not part of the ACT or SAT tests, hence proving that this is not an accurate way of measuring a student’s abilities.

Anothermajorweakness of these tests is that there areunfamiliar formats, which may confuse the students andfail to show their abilities. The tests are entirely different from any othertests they undertake at the high school.They do not have true or false questions, and also lack shortanswers. Instead,multiple-choice questions are used to determinewhethera student isintellectuallycapable or not.This shows that these tests’ primary goal is to examine whether the student can memorize answers, rather than analyzing there he/she is capable of doing well in varyingareas (Brennan, 2016).The testalso tells the inconsequential details one can churn out to determine how smart one is.

Delayed Thesis and Support

Therefore, it ismanifest that standardizedtestssuch as SAT and ACT should not be weighed so heavily when determining a student’s readiness to join a college or higher learning institution. There shouldbe other alternative methods used, which willcomprehensivelyanalyzea student’s capabilityand determinehis/her area of strength (Tate, 2016).An alternative test that can be used for a student wishing to join a college is examining more than just students’ abilities to pass in exams and other areas. The tests should notinclude all relevant subjects such as theology, ethics, philosophy, and logic to determine a student’s ability. A student’s ability to excel in technical coursesshould also be a part of the tests, which will ensure that each student’scapability is determinedand that no skillis left behind when doing the evaluation.

The alternativetest to the Act and SAT test should connect an intellectual pursuit and the student’s virtues. Itshould alsotest the student’s ability to reason. Each student’s writing and thinking capabilities need to be comprehensivelyaddressed to understandeach of the students’ levels of capability (Tate, 2016).The tests should engage each individual’s morality taking the course and his consciousness as a student, rather than only focusing on his/her intellectual alone.This will hence help the institution which isadministering the students to fully understand how a studentbehaves, reacts to situations, and atthe same time understand thevarious subjects. The test will also help the college understand the student’s main strengths andadmit them to courses that suit their strengths. Such testswill determine the future of the students since his/ her behaviors, abilities, skills, and any other strength will be monitored and factored in beforeundertaking aspecific course in the college (Tate, 2016).As for now, the SAT and ACT tests have failed to predict someone’s success at the collegebut only test the basic usability ofa student in only several subjects.


Standardized tests are not accurate measures for analyzing student education quality or determining students’ intellectual capability. The study shows that the SAT and ACT tests only examine several subjects and leave out the erst without consideringa student’s abilities. It is also patent that the tests are not equitable since they mainly favor the more economicallyprivileged, who can undertake a prior evaluation of the tests, unlike persons from less privilegedbackgrounds. As aresult, there is a need for the alternativetest,which will pay focus not only on the student’s ability to memorize the subjects but also toanalyze the moral abilities and other skills that the student possesses. The alternative method of evaluating students will ensure that all the students’ competencies and skills are tested, rather than just focusing on several subjects.The alternative test will also ensure that a student can prepare him/herself before undertaking the test despite his financial well-being. Through such a test, each student’s capability and prowess will be focused on ensuring that each student is allocated a course in which he/she has proven to be strong.The current SAT and Act tests have failed to focus on such fields, hence developing an alternative method in the future that will not show any type of discrimination or fail to capture every individual’s abilities.




Brennan, C. (2016). ACT tests do not determine your intelligence. Retrieved from https://wybeaconnews.org/3659/opinions/act-tests-do-not-determine-your-intelligence/

Derrell, T. (2015). How To Get Into College Without Taking the SAT or ACT. Retrieved from https://www.aiuniv.edu/blog/2015/september/how-to-get-into-college

Roell, K. (2019). 5 Things the Sat Does Not Measure or Predict. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/things-the-sat-does-not-measure-or-predict-3211898

Tate, J. (2016). The SAT and ACT Fall Short, But Now There’s a Better Alternative. Retrieved from https://www.jamesgmartin.center/2016/09/sat-act-fall-short-now-theres-better-alternative/


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