Every modern student has taken countless tests that required filling in those little bubbles, lines of A, B, C, D filling the page. The strategy of multiple choice is indoctrinated into students from childhood, finally culminating in the holy grail of bubble sheets: the SAT.
The SAT, or Scholastic Aptitude Test as it was originally called, has been in use in the US for nearly a century since it was begun in 1926.
Let us take a moment to ponder the implications of this. While the content has been revised over the years to more closely adhere to changes in the Common Core curriculum, the test is largely the same as it was 94 years ago. Student life, though, could hardly be more different. Schoolwork is researched, written, and turned in online. Many careers and paths that students could choose today, from app developing to telemedicine, hadn’t even been imagined back in 1926. Colleges now often list personal character and teacher recommendations to be far more important than test scores, with over 40% being partially or fully test-optional. Many educators have expressed concerns at how standardized testing puts time pressure on students, asserting that quality of work and critical thinking is much more important than an ability to churn out answers quickly. If the skills deemed valuable have changed so much, why hasn’t the testing changed along with it? And last year’s scandal has left students and educators wondering, how valuable should this test’s results really be to us?
Regardless, all BHS juniors will be required to take the SAT on March 25 this year. Any wise student will practice and prepare as necessary, for the scores of this test still have an impact on college acceptances. But when this year’s test is over, bubbles filled in and packets stacked up, the wise student should also consider: when will the SAT finally be deemed obsolete?