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MYSTERIES OF LIFE: THE SAT SUBJECT EXAMS

September 19, 2013

One of the biggest questions I get is should students take the SAT Subject Exams. The short answer is yes (it's a long story), but allow me to share my thoughts about this whole concept.

The Subject Exams are meant, in theory, to test a student's knowledge in a given discipline. Fair enough. It is meant to be a standardized exam, so no grade inflation will affect results from school to school. Understood.

But wait a minute: isn't this why we have AP examinations? Also, how much more anxiety to we have to keep throwing at high-achieving high school students? They need to keep their GPA's high, belong to half a million activities, take the ACT and/or (usually "and") SAT -- multiple times -- and still have something resembling a social life. Add to that admission rates lower than 6% at Harvard and Stanford, and . . .  do we really need MORE tests?

I've been an advocate for a long time to make the college application system more fair, efficient, transparent, and merit-based. This does nothing to further any of these goals.
Yet, we don't make the rules, we live by them, so in a nutshell, take the SAT Subject Exams.


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