SATs spark debate in admissions process

By Liz Garrett
October 4, 2007


The current debate over whether to end the utilization of the SATs has become an issue that may affect a widespread stream of people.

As far as the admissions office at Cabrini is concerned, the SATs are merely another one of the requirements needed in the application process. Even though they are not deemed as the best indicator of a student’s academic abilities, it is still necessary to examine the scores.

“We need to have high school transcripts and SATs,” Charles Spencer, director of admissions at Cabrini, said. He continued on to say, “students can take the ACTs because they are more of what is learned in high school. I like looking at what someone’s done throughout their four years.”

Considering the proposals of terminating the administration of the SATs, it is safe to say that Cabrini will be able to maintain the decision-making process. According to Spencer, “we would make sure that they have all the core requirements filled in high school, and then probably add a mandatory essay.”

At this time the College Board has recorded a scoring range of 880 to 1050 for Cabrini’s SAT expectation, not including a writing section. In contrast, Villanova University requires students to have results between 1750 and 2040 including writing. Eastern University needs a 1400 to 1740 including writing, Drexel University calls for 1070 to 1300 without writing, and Rosemont College expects 1430 to 1830 with a writing portion.

“I was a transfer so they looked at my credits from my previous college, the SATs really didn’t affect me, freshman psychology and criminology major Dana Romeo said. Not all students have been affected by the SATs, which has also been a point of importance for colleges to think about.

Charles Murray, a social scientist, recently suggested the importance of discontinuing the SATs. His views on the well-known high school assessment tool were extremely negative, however, they contradict his positive opinion on other examinations such as the I.Q. test.

Murray is far from alone where his thoughts on the SATs are concerned. Both college administrators and parents are frustrated with how the test affects the admission decision, mostly because they have discovered it does not accurately measure the person’s aptitude.

Murray theorizes that the SAT’s are designed to assist people of wealthier classes and not those who are underprivileged. ?

Instead of relying on the SATs he advises that colleges would be wise to use subject tests such as biology or history, that focus on the principles studied in school. By judging high school GPAs in addition to the grades from subject tests, a prediction of future achievements in college can be equally as legitimate.

The College Board has stated that subject tests and the SAT are both significant to the decision procedure. It is understood that students raised in families of the higher class have proved to be more successful on the SAT, which is seen as unjust.

Coaching preparation for the SATs has simply a slight impact on the students’ final scores. Overall, the conflict involving the validity of the SATs is challenging college officials. Why persist in partially basing college acceptance on these exams, and substitute one standardized test with another?

“I do really bad on standardized testing, but I did good on the writing portion and had a good GPA so it was overridden,” sophomore marketing major Erin Peters, said. As prospective students research Cabrini they will have to adhere to the college policy of submitting their SAT’s, however they will always have other criteria looked at.

Liz Garrett

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