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The Saratoga Falcon

The Saratoga Falcon

SAT scores should not follow you into your future job opportunities

Trapped in a classroom that feels like a jail cell for four hours, a student considers a test question. Is the answer obfuscate or ligate? Little does the student know that bubbling a wrong answer could cost a job opportunity in the future.
Big companies such as McKinsey & Co. and Goldman Sachs ask recent college graduates and sometimes even middle-age candidates for their SAT scores during their hiring process. It is ridiculous that a test taken at least four years ago (and possibly even as much as 30 years ago) should continue to haunt an adult.
Until two years ago, to apply for a job at even Google, candidates needed to provide SAT scores on top of college records. Google Human Resource executive Laszlo Block told the New York Times, “Google famously used to ask everyone for a transcript and college GPAs and test scores, but we don’t anymore, unless you’re just a few years out of college. We found that they don’t predict anything.” 
Thankfully, Google now prioritizes interviews rather than test scores when accepting or rejecting applicants.
Many companies rationalize that SAT scores are valuable indicators of the testers’ concentration and hard work; however, most jobs requires more than the ability to take tests.
While SAT scores may be valuable for employers who want to quickly filter out lower-scoring applicants, according to a report done by College Board studying classes who have graduated since 1980, the SAT is ultimately a worse predictor of workplace success than other factors such as interviews, resumes or recommendation letters. 
While a test asks obscure questions about vocabulary students will probably never use, an in-person encounter provides more information about the individual as a person, and recommendation letters prove that others have found one’s work ethic and attitude valuable. 
Even the College Board describes the SAT as an exam intended to predict short-term success in college rather than lifelong careers, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Standardized tests like the SAT are not inquiry-based. Even the new — and hopefully improved — SAT test is nothing like real life. After all, when are you going to be asked to write an essay about whether there are true heroes in life in 25 minutes? 
If employers cannot use interviews, resumes or recommendation letters to wade through piles of applicants, there are still better ways to create a filter than to use SAT scores. 
According to a study done by the Duke University Talent Identification Program, although the SATs may be helpful in predicting success early in college, they do not track success after college. Even high school grades and specific tests like the AP tests are better indicators of workplace success than the SAT, wrote the New York Times. 
In addition, emphasizing SAT scores puts some groups at a disadvantage. According to McGraw-Hill Education, because of factors such as income, African Americans and Hispanics score lower on average than whites. For companies trying to increase diversity, using SAT scores would hinder their goal.
The SAT represents no more than a student’s ability to either self-study or sign up for an SAT class — none of which are ultimately useful in the workplace. The standardized test is specifically a college entrance exam — it shouldn't make a difference to employers. SAT scores don't define a student, and they especially should not define an adult.
 
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