The College Board has decided, against the wishes of many college admissions officials and advocates for low-income students, to institute “score choice,” allowing students to withhold from colleges all but their highest combined SAT score.
I’m against this for a number of reasons. First, it’s pretty clear this policy will disadvantage students who cannot afford to take the test multiple times or shell out for tutors and classes to help them raise their score. Secondly, the College Board claims this will decrease student stress by giving teens the ability to hide scores if they happened to have a really bad day on testing day. In practice, though, this option already exists; it’s called “canceling” your score. One of my best friends had a sort of mini panic attack the first time she sat for the SAT. She walked out of the testing center, called the College Board, and canceled the score. No harm, no foul.
I developed a migraine during the ACT in 1991, and canceled my score. With the various test prep and tutor options, the deck is already stacked heavily in favor of those who wish to buy a good SAT score. This policy change will only exacerbate the problem.