Why are one third of our country's universities using the SAT or Scholastic Assessment Test to determine student placement in their classes' freshman year? The new addition to the SAT that consists of a timed twenty-five minute essay is an inadequate way to determine the initial placement of freshman college students. The short amount of time that is given to produce the essay will altogether encourage poor writing. A proficient writer simply cannot compose an essay in twenty five minutes that showcases their best writing; it is more their critical ability to rework and polish what they have written.
I can appreciate that colleges are up to their heads in paper work and scheduling freshman for the first semester. I can also appreciate that they might elect to use this essay as a way to save time in ...view middle of the document...
Their total focus is not just on the essay they are going to have to write, but more on the other larger parts of the test. Colleges should give a separate essay where the students are allowed more time and are only focused on writing that single essay. It seems like a more idealistic way of judging someone's writing talent. Even though it would cost more and would take up more time it would give students a better chance at portraying their writing abilities.
Writing is an acquired talent and takes a lot of practice to develop those skills. There are many schools across the country where little writing is taught, especially in over-crowded and under funded schools. Many students will be hurt in the long run by this misfortune because they did not have access to an intensive writing program. I came to Stone Bridge High School this year from a school that only required students to turn in one essay per semester. In turn, my writing experience has not been as great as the students here in Virginia who have attended schools with a much stronger focus on writing skills. My previous school was under-funded and could not offer a good curriculum in that concentration, much like many schools in our country. The colleges do not factor in these elements, but still base their judgment on the same scale. This essay could really beat down underrepresented students who suffer from these adverse circumstances.
Good writing is not something that can be perfected in an extremely short amount of time. Colleges would be at a disadvantage to use the SAT essay as their way of determining a student's placement in writing courses freshman year. It is asking students to turn in a first-draft quality paper, without even giving them an adequate amount of time to demonstrate their talent in a revised essay. Colleges should consider the accuracy of this process before using this essay for placement purposes.