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SAT and ACT Tests Are Not Accurate Ways to Measure | Essay Help

Addressing the Fact That 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 and measures what a student is capable of learning. It was a formal requirement for each student to undertake the tests before getting to primary and secondary schools. Since the industrial revolution in the US, standardized exams were undertaken to test a large number of students quickly. It was also signed 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 education for all students. Nevertheless, standardized tests are not accurate measures for analyzing the quality of student education or determining students’ intellectual capability.

Dialogic Discussion

From undertaken studies, it is manifest that most of these tests often inhibit biases. According to a 2013 report by Annie E Casey Foundation, there is a depiction of inequality in the types of tests undertaken between the poor and the rich (Roell, 2019). There is a clear bias and gap between children from low-income and wealthier families when undertaking the tests. In general, undertaking these standardized tests are a way of evaluating the abilities of a student (Derrell, 2015). This is since the test involves beak down the entire students’ knowledge into just four categories of English, reading, math, and Science, which hardly covers the scope of topics in which students may excel (Brennan, 2016). The tests fail to focus on other strengths a child can possess, including excelling in games, technical works, or any other field not covered in the tests. This hence discriminates the child and fails to evaluate the abilities a child has thoroughly.

People’s brains do not function the same, a factor that these tests tend to ignore. Some students may be under stress or pressure when taking the tests than others, which Such factors are not considered when undertaking such tests, which clearly affects the results and negatively affects some of the students. Both the SAT and ACT tests were created to require little background knowledge other than taking standardized tests. The tests, according to Derrell, (2015) majorly favor those who have the necessary resources 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 less privileged in the society (Brennan, 2016). Practicing and having tutorials of such a 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, such tests come at high costs, 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 the world’s greatest minds (Tate, 2016). This is proof that these tests should not be used to determine a students’ abilities or how best he can score since it has been proven that tests do not often give the most accurate information regarding the capability of the students (Brennan, 2016). It also means that the tests may discourage a student from further exploring his/her abilities. This may ultimately affect their confidence in their abilities, making them fail to succeed further since they have previously been told of their inabilities. According to (Brennan, 2016), the SAT and ACT tests only measure what has been learned in school and how well one has taken the standardized test. There are also multiple ways of scoring poorly at the tests, including lack of sleep, test anxiety, improper preparation, illness, and many other factors that should not mean that one is intellectually disadvantaged (Roell, 2019). The tests also indicate one’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 mean that one is a poor student.

Many College administrations believe that the SAT and ACT tests are the only suitable ways of determining one’s intelligence. They also believe that only through such tests can one be ready to get enrolled into their institution (Brennan, 2016). However, the tests are weighed too heavily when it comes to determining a student’s readiness to be administered. This is since other better and more efficient ways could be used to determine the preparedness and readiness for such tests (Tate, 2016). If a college spent more time focusing 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 technically integrated into the learning, it is reduced to only studying complex gaps and interpreting their results, 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.

Another major weakness of these tests is that there are unfamiliar formats, which may confuse the students and fail to show their abilities. The tests are entirely different from any other tests they undertake at the high school. They do not have true or false questions, and also lack short answers. Instead, multiple-choice questions are used to determine whether a student is intellectually capable 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 varying areas (Brennan, 2016). The test also tells the inconsequential details one can churn out to determine how smart one is.

Delayed Thesis and Support

Therefore, it is manifest that standardized tests such 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 should be other alternative methods used, which will comprehensively analyze a student’s capability and determine his/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 not include all relevant subjects such as theology, ethics, philosophy, and logic to determine a student’s ability. A student’s ability to excel in technical courses should also be a part of the tests, which will ensure that each student’s capability is determined and that no skill is left behind when doing the evaluation.

The alternative test to the Act and SAT test should connect an intellectual pursuit and the student’s virtues. It should also test the student’s ability to reason. Each student’s writing and thinking capabilities need to be comprehensively addressed to understand each 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 is administering the students to fully understand how a student behaves, reacts to situations, and at the same time understand the various subjects. The test will also help the college understand the student’s main strengths and admit them to courses that suit their strengths. Such tests will determine the future of the students since his/ her behaviors, abilities, skills, and any other strength will be monitored and factored in before undertaking a specific course in the college (Tate, 2016). As for now, the SAT and ACT tests have failed to predict someone’s success at the college but only test the basic usability of a 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 considering a student’s abilities. It is also patent that the tests are not equitable since they mainly favor the more economically privileged, who can undertake a prior evaluation of the tests, unlike persons from less privileged backgrounds. As a result, there is a need for the alternative test, which will pay focus not only on the student’s ability to memorize the subjects but also to analyze 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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SAT and ACT Tests Are Not Accurate Ways to Measure | Essay Help . (2022, May 03). Essay Writing . Retrieved February 21, 2024, from https://www.essay-writing.com/samples/sat-and-act-tests-are-not-accurate/
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