The 3 Hour and 45 Minute Brute

Lindsey Cohen, Associate Editor

Albert Einstein once said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” Who’s to say that some four- hour-test should determine my future? And just because I can’t detect some parallelism error should I be constituted as a failure? I don’t want to lower my college standards because of some standardized test.

Oh and as for the students who cheat, come on, where are your morals? Students are going back and finishing specific sections when time is called to move onto the next section. If I had 10 extra minutes on my essay I’m sure I’d ace it, or if I could spend a few more seconds on a math question I’d raise my score a few precious points. This test is essentially a time test. I’m no track star; I cannot race through a test. Reading pedestrian, (the only plus to the SAT is all these great new adjectives I learned)lengthy stories and then answering questions that are worded in such a way that drives me up a wall is not my idea of an ideal Saturday morning. It’s not the waking up early and sitting there for 5 hours that turns me off; it’s the fact that every single math question and every single grammar error I identify is so pointless.

Evidence has shown that wealthy parents have paid psychologists to evaluate their children with a learning disability so that they can be granted admission into prestigious schools; “the rich kid loophole.” With such evaluations, these students are allotted extra time, can have the story read aloud to them, a smaller room, and or more breaks. Student Ali Hellberg, reported that many of her friends obtained notes from psychologists, reading that her perfectly able friends were to receive extra time of the SAT…one even getting into an Ivy League school. Reports have shown increasingly higher test scores from well-to-do zip codes. “At the elite Wayland High school outside Boston, the number of students receiving special accommodations is more than 12 percent, more than six times the estimated national average of high school students with learning disabilities. Wayland guidance counselor Norma Greenberg said that it’s not that difficult for wealthy, well-connected students to get the diagnoses they want”( This is possibly the most corrupt thing I have ever read…faking a disability to get into an exalted university?

Why aren’t we prepared at all for these mind-boggling, time crunching, debilitating exams? Some schools have SAT prep in their curriculum. We students have to venture out and find the best of the best, most pricy tutors in hopes of raising our grade on this monstrosity of a standardized test. I mean, tutors can help but how much? We don’t really have much of a foundation going into these exams; some people have a knack for it, others like me…not so much.
“Although the SAT purports to measure the skills students develop in school, it does so in such a convoluted manner that it catches many students off guard,” says my very dedicated tutor Jake Berman.

We were all taught that if we work hard, we will do well. It’s almost funny that that saying is refuted come the SATs… actually, it’s not funny at all. Shouldn’t our work ethic be a measure of our intellect rather than these exams? Schools offer different courses to guide students in a potential direction for a possible profession; a standardized test cannot do that. I unlike the Great Neck kids don’t have $2,000 to pay a friend to take my SAT or ACT for me…do you?