Stop shoving tests down our throats


By Maya Brodows ’20


It’s early Saturday morning. Many people of the town remain blissfully asleep, whilst others enjoy the start to a great weekend. Some are playing with their young children, others are flipping pancakes.

Yet, for juniors across the country, Saturdays have become synonymous with one thing: the SAT.

Staples High School requires students to take both the PSAT 10 in sophomore year, and the SAT in junior year. As a graduation requirement, no Staples student has the privilege of missing out on these dreaded Saturday encounters.

This is entirely ridiculous. Although it is great that Staples offers both of these tests free of charge, these tests should not be shoved down students’ throats like vegetables.

There is no acknowledgement of students who have already taken the SAT, or those who are certain they will take the ACT instead. There is no pity for the students who have completed the SAT, and already achieved a score they are happy with.

Most obviously, there are the students who do not wish to go to college, and thus have no need to take either the PSAT 10 or the SAT. According to the Department of Education, 70 percent of high school graduates attend college. In other words, 30 percent do not. Requiring the PSAT 10 and SAT, both of which were solely created to be used for college applications, is another way for Staples to remind its’ students that college is the only respectable post-grad option.

College is not for everyone. College is a choice, a choice that is often dismissed, but a choice nonetheless. Students should be encouraged to explore all possible options, including volunteering, joining the military, learning a trade, or turning a hobby into a career.

Although Staples may claim it encourages looking at these college alternatives, forcing students to take college-entry tests suggests otherwise. Until these tests become “recommended” or “optional”, Staples can not truthfully claim to be supportive of any option that doesn’t include attending college.

Additionally, an increasing number of colleges are becoming test-optional. Research done by FairTest, a company devoted to fair testing, found that more than 700 colleges are currently test optional, meaning that SAT or ACT scores are not a requirement when applying to attend said college. Students who wish to go to a test optional school are essentially wasting their time by taking a test that they will do nothing with.

These students are not the only ones wasting their time. As The New York Times mentioned in a 2013 article, more students now opt to take the ACT instead of the SAT. Staples students mirror the rest of America––they too prefer the ACT.

I have two friends who are taking the SAT. The rest will take the ACT. From what I’ve gathered, these ACT students feel the school SAT is a waste of a perfectly good Saturday. Especially now, in junior year, no one has time to waste. Not only the actual testing hours, but SAT prep and tutoring as well, amounts to a pretty substantial portion of time being misspent.

Regardless of the reason why, it’s apparent that Staples must stop shoving college-prep tests down our throats and maybe listen to the wishes of their students. High-schoolers have enough on their plates. Why add more?