The Instigator
samzack
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Pote
Con (against)
Winning
7 Points

SAT Testing scores should not limit the applicants to colleges.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 12/4/2009 Category: Education
Updated: 7 years ago Status: Voting Period
Viewed: 6,998 times Debate No: 10339
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (3)
Votes (1)

 

samzack

Pro

I, Sam, affirm the resolve that SAT Testing scores should not limit the applicants to colleges. Education is one of the parts of the United States that is well known and recognized. However, certain, if not most colleges and universities turn away students because of poor scores on testing, mainly the SATs.

My first contention is that students aren't given a big enough chance to enter. Students take the SATs more than twice, if not less, and at times their scores may not be the hardest. Many colleges don't even give a chance to contact the student or applicant directly so that they can get to know the person for which he or she truly is. Colleges base everything on test scores and how well someone can do on a math problem, or what kinds of words are in a sentence. Colleges look at the score and throw the file away, therefore automatically denying a student.

My second contention is that students' education varies around the globe. School districts, states, and different countries have different ways of teaching skills that are needed in life. When students take the SAT exam in their junior and senior years, it put pressure on them. Have you ever had to do something under pressure and you have a hard time doing so? That is exactly what students are mainly under when taking these exams.

My third contention is that it is an indirect form of discrimination. We have all heard about years ago when there was racism in America, and Ruby Bridges wasn't allowed in an all-white school. Lets compare; A somewhat decent student isn't allowed in a university all because of test scores and are denied because of them. Everyone should have a chance to get into a college/university and have their acceptance not be based on test scores.
Pote

Con

Thanks to the affirmative for the debate.

I, Pote, negate the resolved: "that SAT Testing scores should not limit the applicants to colleges"
Basically I am going to argue that SAT Testing scores should be used to limit applicants to colleges. I will not argue that SAT scores should be used as the only factor in determining college acceptance.

Definition: Limit-verb: to restrict by or as if by establishing limits (usually fol. by to)(1)

Contention one: SAT scores are a quick and easy way to gauge a student's ability to succeed.
Colleges place importance on SAT scores because they are a simple way to compare applicants directly against each other. It is much easier to compare an SAT score of 2200 to 1650 than it is to compare 3 years of swimming to 2 years of band and 25 hours of community service. Studies have shown that students that score well on the SAT tend to do better in college than students that do not score well on the SAT. (2) If you were a college admissions officer, wouldn't you want to know a number value that does a good job of predicting how well an applicant will do?

Contention two: SAT scores are used in conjunction with many other factors to determine if a student is accepted.
Almost all colleges consider high school (and sometimes middle school)GPA. Many colleges have a personal statement section of their applications that they consider. Many colleges consider extracurricular activities. Many colleges consider awards. Many colleges consider ethnicity. Many colleges consider family circumstances. (2) The list goes on and on. Admissions officers don't just glance at SAT scores and admit students if they score above x. The SAT isn't even considered as the most important factor for many colleges. (2)

Contention three: Standardized tests are predictable, which sets almost all students on an even playing field.
The point of a standardized test is to give all the test takers an equal chance of performing at their highest. (3) Students are able to take the test over and over, and they can prepare as much as they want between each test. If a student does not prepare for the SAT, they deserve to be at a disadvantage when taking it. They put this disadvantage on themselves. A standardized test offers the highest possible level of fairness. Nothing has less bias than a properly written standardized test, such as the SAT. I challenge my opponent to show me an example of anything that is more fair in comparing students than the SAT.

Arguments against the affirmative case:
The affirmative has not yet offered any sources. The affirmative has not yet offered any definitions.

Affirmative contention one: " Many colleges don't even give a chance to contact the student or applicant directly" This is untrue. A personal statement is a chance for students to directly contact the admissions officer. Also, students can schedule interviews at many colleges. (4)(5)
"Colleges base everything on test scores " You can cross apply my second contention to this argument. I do not believe there is a single college in the world that bases admission solely on SAT scores and I challenge my opponent to show an example of one.
"Colleges look at the score and throw the file away" First of all, this is not how the process works at all. Colleges send out acceptance or denial letters, they never just ignore an applicant. College admissions officers consider the entire application before they make their decision. There is not a single factor that can automatically deny a student, unless the college requires a certain level of achievement on that factor. Hardly any colleges REQUIRE certain SAT scores.

Affirmative contention two: " students' education varies around the globe"
This is true, which is even more of a reason for college admission officers to consider SAT scores. A GPA from X High School cannot be compared to a GPA from Y High School, but an SAT score of X can be compared to an SAT score of Y.
"When students take the SAT exam in their junior and senior years, it put pressure on them. Have you ever had to do something under pressure and you have a hard time doing so?"
The SAT is designed to test students under pressure, which is important for colleges. College tests also pressure students, so why would colleges want to see how well students do without pressure?
All students are under pressure, so it is fair.

Affirmative third contention: "A somewhat decent student isn't allowed in a university all because of test scores and are denied because of them"
I want to know what determines if a student is "decent" if not standardized test scores.
"Everyone should have a chance to get into a college/university"
Everyone does have a chance to get into any college/univeristy. If a person lowers their chance by not preparing for the SAT, they deserve to have less of a chance to get in.
"their acceptance not be based on test scores"
Test scores are also used in determining GPA, so does that mean that acceptance should not be based off GPA? What should college acceptance be based off of?

(1)-http://dictionary.reference.com...
(2)-http://www.collegeboard.com...
(3)-http://en.wikipedia.org...
(4)-http://www.writinghelp-central.com...
(5)-http://www.collegeboard.com...
Debate Round No. 1
samzack

Pro

Hello again. I, Sam am here to affirm that SAT Testing Scores should not limit the applicants to colleges. I will first refute with what my opponent stated and then rebuild my statements and contentions with sources which I did fail to provide in my Affirmative Constructive.

The negative stated that SAT scores are a quick and easy way to gauge a student's ability to succeed. However, when applying to colleges, SAT scores can make or break an application. The negative also stated that the standardized tests such as the SAT are used in conjunction with many other factors to determine if a student is accepted. This may be true, however, there are schools that do accept mainly on SAT scores. The negative also states that Standardized tests are predictable, which sets almost all students on an even playing field. I say, he is wrong. No single piece of information, such as a test, can predict with 100 percent certainty what a student's progress and academic status will be in college. This is because many factors which include personal motivation, which influence your college grades. Combined with your high school grades, the SAT is the best predictor of your success in college. The SAT, therefore, can be of great value to admissions officers and can help you find the right college match. Note when it says "college match", the College board means to say another college with a lower standard and not the college the applicant would like to attend.

I will now rebuild my contentions and arguments.

As stated previously, my first contention is that students aren't given a big enough chance to enter. First off, the test does not test for knowledge, it estimates intelligence. It is based on standard IQ tests. A student can take the test as many times as they want. Most students take the test once or twice. Research shows that taking the test more than twice won't help you significantly improve your score. So, if a person were to take it an additional time, to try and succeed, according to the statistics they will not do well.

My second contention (has changed) and is that the test scores at time can be faulty and invalid. To prove this, I have researched two philosophers, Crouse and Trusheim. In a book they write, "The Case Against the SAT", they conducted the most detailed statistical analysis of the SAT's predictive shortcomings. Using data from the National Longitudinal Study (NLS) of the high school class of 1972, they calculated the number of additional correct admissions using high school rank (HSR) alone and with the SAT. With four different measures of undergraduate success, they calculated that using the SAT in admissions adds between 0.1 and 2.7 additional correct forecasts per 100 applicants.

My third and last contention (has changed) and is that grades should be worth more because they take longer to aquire. One of the best indicators of a student's aptitude for education are their grades in various classes. A report card could replace the SAT and the ACT and any other test. Grades take time to acquire. A student will be judged with grades in college. It's a no-brainer to everyone. Students who do better in school will do better in another school. This should be the starting point for admission to a college, not some contrived test. Otherwise, why waste your time in middle school and even high school trying to get honor roll? It's not like they look mainly at the grades you have earned through the previous 4 to 7 years of your life.

Thank you.

Sources:
-http://collegeapps.about.com...
-http://www.collegeboard.com...
-http://hypertextbook.com...
-http://www.helium.com...
Pote

Con

I'll defend my points then extend my arguments against the affirmative case.

The affirmative argues that "SAT scores can make or break an application" against my first contention, that college admission officers can use SAT scores to easily gauge an applicant's ability to succeed.
This is a non sequitur. The fact that a bad SAT score can decrease a person's chance to get into a university doesn't have any affect on how easy it is for college admissions officers to compare number values.
This was his only attack on my first contention.

My opponent argues that "there are schools that do accept mainly on SAT scores", without offering any examples of such schools. I challenged my opponent to find a single school that puts more emphasis on SAT scores than GPA, and I extend this challenge to the next round as well. This was his only attack on my second contention.

My opponent attacks my third contention by stating " I say, he is wrong. No single piece of information, such as a test, can predict with 100 percent certainty what a student's progress and academic status will be in college. This is because many factors which include personal motivation, which influence your college grades."
I never stated that the SAT would predict with 100% certainty and that is not the resolution at all. The resolution is that "SAT Testing scores should not limit the applicants to colleges." It says nothing about the SAT predicting with 100% accuracy a student's success rate, and neither did I. The argument he was responding to was "that Standardized tests are predictable, which sets almost all students on an even playing field." which has nothing to do with predicting a student's progress at all.

He then quotes collegeboard, one of my sources. He says that "Note when it says "college match", the College board means to say another college with a lower standard and not the college the applicant would like to attend." and I completely agree with this. A student that scores poorly on the SAT should not get to go to their first choice school if there are applicants with a similar GPA and extracurriculars, etc. and a higher SAT score.

Since my opponent's first contention has not changed, my arguments against it will also not change.
Students are allowed to take the test multiple times, as my opponent stated. Statistics do show that students who take the SAT again WITHOUT PREPARATION will not improve their scores. (Sorry for caps, but I can't find a bold or anything on this website)
Most students that study after taking the SAT will improve their scores for the next time they take it. (1)

My opponent brings up "The Case Against the SAT" in his second contention, which uses data from the NLS of the high school class of 1972. In 1972, the highest score on the SAT was 1600. In 1972, the SAT was conducted very differently. The SAT of today has been revised multiple times and does not contain nearly as many flaws as the SAT of 1972.
And yet, even the SAT of 1972 ADDED to the correct forecasts in admissions. Even if the number were 0.1, the SAT should still be used, as it does add towards the chance that college admissions officers admit students that will not fail.

My opponent's third contention is "that grades should be worth more because they take longer to aquire". First of all, grades are valued more than the SAT by most colleges.(2) Second, 2/3 of the students in college in 1990 had little to no discrepancy between what their GPA would predict for them and what their SAT score would predict for them. (3)
Third, just because something takes longer to acquire does not mean that it is in any way better. For example, overcooked pasta takes longer to make than properly cooked pasta. Just because the process is longer does not make the overcooked pasta any tastier, and just because the high school process is longer does not make it any more valid.
Next, my opponent says that "A student will be judged with grades in college. It's a no-brainer to everyone. Students who do better in school will do better in another school" but this is completely fallacious.
Grades in college are different from grades in high school. College grades generally have a much higher basis on test scores like midterms and finals than high schools do.
"It's a no-brainer to everyone" is just a bandwagon argument.
"Students who do better in school will do better in another school" is just false. There is no evidence that a student that performs well at a school will perform well at another school. This is similar to arguing that a heart surgeon would be good at brain surgery because they both cut people open. College and high school are two very different things.

As my opponent stated above, " No single piece of information, such as a test, can predict with 100 percent certainty what a student's progress and academic status will be in college. This is because many factors which include personal motivation, which influence your college grades."
No single piece of information, such as a GPA can predict how well a student will perform. That is why the SAT should be used along with high school GPA and many other factors to help a college admissions officer determine whether or not to admit an applicant.

(1)-http://mycollegeguide.org...
(2)-https://www.collegedata.com...
(3)-http://professionals.collegeboard.com...
Debate Round No. 2
samzack

Pro

samzack forfeited this round.
Pote

Con

His account has been closed.
Debate Round No. 3
samzack

Pro

samzack forfeited this round.
Pote

Con

Pote forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 4
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by mongeese 7 years ago
mongeese
I'd accept if the number of rounds was lowered to 2.
Posted by Alex 7 years ago
Alex
Agree with Pro.
Posted by Nails 7 years ago
Nails
"Students take the SATs more than twice, if not less"

This is profound.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Pote 7 years ago
Pote
samzackPoteTied
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Total points awarded:07