High school has two final bosses: prom night and the SAT. Of the two, the SAT is undoubtedly worse -- all it can offer you is sleepless nights before, moments of confusion and despair during, and restless hours of existential terror afterward (prom night is essentially the same, but there's also dancing).
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Although at least you get to retake the SAT if you fail miserably.
This one test plays a huge role in determining which colleges will accept you, and therefore it significantly impacts the rest of your life afterward as well. It's basically the Hogwarts Sorting Hat for boring reality. It is also about the worst test short of the Pepsi Challenge that we could choose for determining the life paths of every teenager in the country.
The SAT as we know it today has been around since 1926 and is the progeny of an old Army IQ test. It's not just a product of a time when the world teetered between two world wars and prejudices ran rampant -- it's an offshoot of a military product of said time. Why is the Prohibition-era military dictating whether you're eligible to spin the sign outside of a Little Caesar's (sadly, about the only job a college degree guarantees these days)? There's no quick answer for that.
At the very least, the SAT is not too good at its task -- one psychologist estimates that it tests less than 20 percent of the skills necessary for scholastic success. In addition, different studies have found that the test shows a clear racial bias, with several questions subtly phrased in a way that gives white students "an edge based not on education or study skills or aptitude, but because they are most likely growing up around white people."
Give your kids the best head start you can: be white.