The past week, the news came out about changes to the SAT. The test will go back to 1600 point format, and the essay section will now become optional. They will also eliminate the quarter point penalty on guessing.

Many people are outraged at the changes making claims like “Great, they made the SAT easier now that I’ve already taken it.” Many believe it is giving an unfair advantage, or lowering standards for future college goers. This is the great injustice of the SATs. 

But it isn’t, the real great injustice is that every student who has wanted to attend college for the last 50 years has had to pay the College Board to take this test. It doesn’t matter that the SATs are not a measure of how well you know content, or how well you do in school. It is simply a measure of how well you know how to take the SAT. 

The new SAT also makes some changes to the types of questions that will be asked. Students will no longer be able to focus on tricks and elimination to solve the problems. Students will need to cite evidence to support their answers in the reading section and the math section will focus more on problem solving and real world applications. 

 The SAT, like many other standardized tests, is severely biased towards white, middle-class students. Also the tests are expensive and even if you managed to get a fee waiver, the prep books and courses needed to do well are often out of reach of those living in poverty. The new changes to the SAT also include a partnership with Khan Academy to provide free test preparation materials to those who can’t afford it. Is that really enough to level the playing field? 

I believe, that these changes are too little too late. While these measures may level the playing field and increase the tests validity, it does not change the fundamental structure of the test. Truthfully, these changes aren’t even meant to increase how good the test is, it is meant to help the SAT compete with its ACT counterpart. These standardized tests do not care about how well they are representing students, they are interested in making money. The College Board is a business that is looking out for number one.  

If colleges want a real, holistic view of their potential students they should focus on high school academics, portfolios, extra-curricular activities and interviews. These are student’s real achievements, not some number on a test that doesn’t really test much at all. Colleges should stop looking at standardized tests all together, they do not tell you how well a student will perform in college and regardless of the changes they make, they never will.