Standardized tests are under scrutiny for no longer being reliable, valid predictors of college success. Because scores differ markedly based on race, income, and opportunity, their use in college admissions reduces access for students of color and students from lower income families. With the surge in SAT preparation, some students spend thousands of dollars to improve their score, further widening the score gap. Tests like the SAT give the illusion of achievement by merit, reward privilege, and mask differences in opportunity. In this paper I will explore the “dark side” of standardized tests and the relationship of the SATs to college access for students of color and students from lower income families.
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