The College Board is prepared to offer a special SAT testing date in August for a group of students who paid $4,500 to enroll in an elite program. While many contend that this is an unfair scheme in and of itself, the College Board also announced that it would not distinguish this test’s results from those of the typical testing date, in June. As The LA Times Editorial Board puts it:
Colleges will not have the option of discounting the summer SAT results for those few dozen students because the College Board will label them as June tests — which in itself gives the students an unfair advantage, as they had more time to prepare for the test, even though it will look as though all students had an equal opportunity. Colleges shouldn’t stand for it.
For once, I agree wholeheartedly with the LA Times. The purpose of standardized testing is to give colleges an objective measure of students’ abilities. Whether deliberate or not, the August test date will skew the results and benefit a select group of students who are willing to pay any amount of money to gain an advantage in admissions. These students, and the College Board, have the right to do whatever they want, of course. But if they go through with this alternate test, colleges should simply stop giving the SAT any weight at all in admission decisions.