For many years, educators have debated the fairness of the SAT determining whether a student can get into college. That very question could be changing the way colleges admit students in the future. Many schools around the nation are considering making standardize testing optional. Students WWAY spoke with said basing their future on one exam should be up for debate. It all comes with preparing for the SAT, the exam giving students the “right of passage to college. Dan Schmidt counsels students at New Hanover High School. He said he would like to see more colleges move toward optional testing. "I think colleges do like to see the test because it is standardized and so it's the same test whether you are in Florida, North Carolina or California. That's why colleges use it. I think students would prefer not to test and maybe base it more on how they did in high school academically,” said Schmidt. Lasheka Blackwell, a New Hanover High senior said, "I'm a bad test-taker anyway and it all depends on your GPA, your classes, as long as you do good your high school year I think that's what should matter." New Hanover senior Landon Childers has already taken the SAT twice. Though he feels added pressure from the test, he said it is a necessary tool to gauge if students are ready for college. “It kind of gives you a feel for if you are prepared for college right now. If you don't do that well on the exam then you are probably not in the area right now where you are prepared to go off,” Childers said. There may be a change on the horizon. Wake Forest University announced this year it would no longer require standardized test scores as part of the admissions process. Wake Forest was the first major private university in the southeast to do so. Schmidt said many factors can make standardized testing simply unfair. “I think there is a correlation with the higher economic status a student has the better they are going to do on a test and so you have to ask is the test fair. And also students that have the means may get some tutoring or test prep and students who don't have the means don't have that opportunity," said Schmidt. Only time will tell if other colleges will follow Wake Forest's example. For many students under pressure, optional testing would be a step in the fair direction.
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