• Jonathan Zhou

Why the UCs went Test-Blind

The University of California (UC) colleges have recently stopped accepting SAT test scores for their applicants, knowing that it will further increase grade inflation and other educational issues across the nation. To understand why the UC system has abandoned standardized testing, one must first understand the exploitative nature of the College Board.

The College Board understands that students are desperate to get into a good college, just like how many companies understand how children in Southeast Asia are desperate for food. While the College Board presents itself as a non-profit organization, it charges unreasonably high prices for its services.

The SAT is heavily overpriced: it costs over $50 to take it, but the cost of paper, printing, and distribution is estimated to be significantly less. However, with the increasing competition for college, students are forced to take the test if they want to get into their dream college; the College Board’s actions are akin to interrogating a man for his credit card number as he drowns in a river—disturbingly similar to waterboarding. Perhaps that’s where the Board in College Board comes from.

Students working on the SAT

Furthermore, the SAT has created a massive market for SAT prep. Like the College Board, companies involved in SAT prep use similarly exploitative practices. Some SAT prep summer camps should be renamed labor camps—students attending those camps study for up to 14 hours a day.

In recent years, concerns that the SAT causes students to lose their independent thinking skills, making them even stupider than they already are, have arisen. Anthony-James Green,

one of the best SAT tutors in the United States, says, “American students have become far too reliant on everyone and everything but themselves.” Now, he no longer personally tutors students, and simply sends them a folder of assignments. Interestingly, students that received the folder did far better than students he personally tutored.

The UC system’s decision to stop accepting SAT test scores is the first step in stopping this vicious cycle. However, without standardized testing, a student’s GPA and extracurricular activities become even more important. This will almost certainly lead to grades across the nation inflating faster than Venezuela's currency, and how this challenge will be handled remains to be seen.


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