SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Some state lawmakers are now considering a ban on using the SAT and other standardized college entrance exams in California schools. The move comes just days after a nationwide college admission scandal that netted dozens of arrests, including some celebrities.

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Taking the SAT can be pretty stressful for students applying to college. Assemblyman Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento) is among those who think California’s universities should stop using these types of standardized tests for admissions.

“You know what we should think about doing is just scrapping the whole thing and focusing on just the old fashion way, your grades in your class, your application, which looks at your extracurricular activities,” McCarty said.

The SAT was created by the College Board in 1926.

McCarty said the recent college admissions cheating indictments have brought new scrutiny on parents and students gaming the system, like claiming a learning disability to get extra time or paying someone else to take the test.

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“People with access can buy a better score. I think this scandal shines a spotlight on the whole issue of the testing industry,” McCarty said.

Not everyone favors eliminating the SAT. Jed Harris is a test prep instructor who says entrance exams help colleges compare students on an equal level.

“It’s the only way to really assess academic competence and hold everyone to the same standard, judge them all by the same yardstick is to have one testing metric and that’s the SAT,” Harris said.

The University of California currently considers 13 other factors for admissions including rank in their high school class, life experiences, and special talents.

  1. August West says:

    Don’t ban the SAT. Just ban time accommodations and allow the colleges to consider an application in light of the disability. I’m sure UC Berkeley would consider a score of 1300 from someone who submitted a doctor’s note stating he/she has ADHD and anxiety as nearly as good as a score of 1600 from someone not so afflicted.

    Alternatively, go back to identifying how many minutes a student was given for each exam. Surely colleges will understand why the accommodation was given.

    The standardized exam is meant to control for differences in high school rigor, for grade inflation, and for the buying of letters of recommendation at private schools. For all it’s faults, it is the last best way to keep some semblance of a level playing field.

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