Friday, March 29, 2013

The dreaded SAT

Did you know we call the SAT test in our home? The Stupid A#$ Test.

I have loathed the test and dreaded the time when my kids would have to take it for several years. It is a tricky test, as any high school student who has recently taken it will tell you.  What does it measure? Reading, writing and math skills, but mostly it measures how well one has prepared for the SAT test. Creativity in writing? Artistic inspiration? Spatial reasoning? Passion for (insert field of choice)? The SAT ignores all of them and more. It only recognizes and rewards prowess in the mechanics of language, algebra 2 level math and the ability to write a cogent, one-draft essay in 25 minutes (don't get me started on that ridiculous essay!)

The profound weight the SAT carries in college admissions, the way it reduces our children to numbers is a tragedy. What's more, good scores on the SAT and the SAT Subject Tests are the only metrics many colleges use to validate the high school learning of homeschoolers. I know there are some small, private colleges that are willing to review a homeschool portfolio - and that's great. But ARG has set his sights high - the colleges his has in mind require all the tests.

Now I will sound like a complete hypocrite when I say that I am over the roof because ARG scored so well on his test. When I saw his scores I actually jumped up and down and hooted. I've been doing little hops ever since and mini claps ever since.

It's not that I have changed my opinion of the test. I still look at the SAT as a bleepity bleepy hoop that ARG had to jump through on his way to college. It's just that he scored well enough to make him competitive for many of the colleges he is considering. To be honest, he scored way higher than he or I expected or hoped.

I confess - the part of me that has doubted and questioned and worried about whether I did a good job as a homeschool teacher feels so relieved now. I did it! I got him through the dang hoop! Is it a real measure of how smart, creative, knowledgeable and skilled he is? Not really. Is it how the world judges the abilities of high school students? Sadly, yes.

The SAT test - a huge hurdle that ARG had to leap over. He did it.



Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

So happy for you both!