A normal American junior or senior understands the struggle that comes with standardized testing. Because performing well on tests like the ACT and SAT is vital to being accepted by any prestigious university, students feel the pressure to invest in tutoring to ensure that they perform the best they can.
To me, the biggest take-away from tutoring for standardized tests is learning to answer the maximum amount of questions in a small time frame. While some students succeed in dealing with the time constraints during testing, many others are hindered by these time constraints.
Some students, realizing the difficulty of the time constraints, however, seek extended time. Those students that obtain extended time, may actually have real learning impairments, while others may not. Testing for extended time solely requires a student to take prolonged periods of time on a test, so loopholes have arisen. Students who can afford the test can easily be granted the extended time privilege, without being in real need of it. Students who have real learning disabilities and cannot afford the $1000 to $5000 it is to take these tests, do not receive extended time.
This is not the only problem that comes with extended time being granted unfairly. Another major issue is the fact that college admission officers are not informed if a student has been granted extended time during an ACT or SAT. The large amount of students receiving extended time may be frustrating to anyone who is struggling to combat the time restraints on the ACT.
This is because the ACT, unlike the SAT, is known for having more straightforward questions with less time to complete them. The whole catch of the ACT is being able to speed through those straight forward questions. Therefore, if a capable student is allotted two more hours of time, it is unfair to those other capable students fighting with the biggest challenge of the ACT: the time.
To me, I believe that the students that truly deserve the extended time are those who attend special needs schools. I do not believe that students that excel in school should be able to have an unfair advantage. The requirements to seek extended time should become stricter to maintain a level playing field when it comes to college acceptance decisions. Being accepted to a good American university is already difficult and therefore I believe that there should not continue to be this loophole.
Gabrielle Puig is an incoming senior at Palmer Trinity School. At school, She is a tutor at the center for writing, a peer counselor, an editor for the literary magazine and the school newspaper. She hopes to continue her work with writing by pursuing a journalism or communications degree.