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  SAT scores: You are more than just a number
By Darra Clark
Article provided by iHigh.com

OK, I must admit it from the beginning: there are few things I find less tolerable than being defined as the sum of SAT and GPA. Why? Because neither the SAT or GPA take into account artistic and creative talent, because the SAT does not measure intelligence so much as test-taking ability, because plenty of brilliant people have accomplished marvelous things despite what the numbers say, and because, basically, to view people in such a narrow manner cheapens and degrades their humanity.

Letās take this in the general, deductive manner in which weāve all been taught to craft essays: point, support, point support.

Point one: the SAT completely disregards artistic talent. Consider, for a moment, the content of the SAT: three hours of math and verbal questions. The format of these questions is utterly objective: you know the right answer or you donāt. Whether you can see the artistry of the parallelogram is a moot point. All the College Board wants from that parallelogram is the length of its diagonal. Even the verbal questions would seem to preclude an artistic ear. The concern is not over which sentence structure is expressive or rich or unique. The concern is ćWhich sentence is most grammatically correct?ä Grammar, of course, is lovely to know...unless you happen to be Hemingway, or Sylvia Plath, or J.D. Salinger. In short, the SAT measures literally nothing in terms of, oh, artistic or kinesthetic or spatial intelligence. Too bad for Degas and Mozart that their number wonāt come up high enough for them to fit the formula...

The artists, however, are not the only ones whose talents arenāt necessarily measured by their SAT scores. As far as Iāve been able to discern, the SAT measures nothing so much as how well you take the SAT. Admittedly, the 10 or so people I know who scored perfect 1600ās are quite bright, but then again, the 40 or so people who scored perfect 1300ās are equally bright and capable. The SAT cannot measure oneās ability to think on their feet, or consider an argument, or make brilliant insights into discussion. In fact, the SAT is disgustingly limited in what it can measure: basically, how good you are at taking tests in the SAT format.

Then again, the SATās limited scope hardly seems like any argument at all when you consider past successes and failures as an argument against it. Though there was no SAT at that point in time, consider the Thomas Edisons and Albert Einsteins of the world. The school system labeled them as, well, hopeless. Their teachers didnāt know what to do with them, the schools didnāt know what to do with them, and surely no test would know what to do with them or make of them. Yet perseverance and dedication proved invaluable, and most all of the modern world reveres these two for their accomplishments.

Beyond any of these arguments, however, the most compelling reason to not take SAT scores too seriously is the fact they ignore the humanity of the test taker. Brilliant, dedicated students, like Nina (whose name has been changed), declare themselves stupid and hopeless for scoring low. Even those who score high cannot help but regard themselves as little more than a number. I, however, disagree. I like to think of myself as a person, and a person is moe than the sum of her parts!

Article provided by iHigh.com

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