Neighborhoods

Testing, Testing

by


JALON

Age 22

Resides Manhattan

Occupation Artist

Should colleges get rid of SATs? Yes, because it lowers the standards and keeps people from having equal opportunities. All public high schools are not alike, and not all seniors who take the SAT have had the same level of education. I myself had a poor education on the reservation.

Did you take them? No. I’m going to Cooper Union, which administers a home test. It includes six assignments like ”Describe or draw or represent a given word” or ”Create a self-portrait that is a private view from a public space.” You are judged on your talent.

What would you study if you went back to school? I’m in school. I’ll graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree.



QUAASIA BARNWELL

Age 23

Resides Bronx

Occupation Counselor

Should colleges get rid of SATs? Yes. Kids should be judged by their record over four school years, not on the results of one test. Most of us got to the SAT and just freaked out.

Did you take them? Yes. I was a nervous wreck and it affected my scores.

What would you study if you went back to school? I don’t know. All throughout high school I had planned to be a lawyer, but because of my SATs, I had to go to community college. I studied business and childhood development there and ended up working with disturbed kids.



DIANA

Age 29

Resides Brooklyn

Occupation Grant writer

Should colleges get rid of SATs? I don’t think too much would be lost if they were no longer a part of the application process. I have mixed feelings about them because I know plenty of smart, capable people who didn’t test well.

Did you take them? Yes, although I graduated from a college that didn’t require them. I did well on my SATs, but I think it only proved I had an aptitude for rules and vocabulary and logic.

What would you study if you went back to school? More than what I would study, I’d go to college differently. I’d be more rigorous about how I worked. I’d read Freud before I read critiques of Freud.



ROMEO

Age 21

Resides Brooklyn

Occupation Plumber

Should colleges get rid of SATs? I think that everyone who wants to go to college should be allowed to. Then, once you get there, they can test for whatever it is they’re trying to find out.

Did you take them? No. I grew up in Latvia. I finished high school and went immediately to university.

What would you study if you went back to school? I don’t feel like studying anymore. I just want to work and go to concerts. I’ve seen Black Sabbath and Blue Öyster Cult. It’s impossible to see these bands in Latvia, although I did see Metallica in Estonia.



LUKE MCDONOUGH

Age 47

Resides Manhattan

Occupation Costumer

Should colleges get rid of SATs? Yes. We should find alternative ways to evaluate students. There’s such intensity at every academic level now. I know someone who is the admissions director at a nursery school.

Did you take them? Yes. When I was in high school, one college in Maine had just decided to no longer require SATs because they felt too much emphasis had been placed on scores. It’s interesting that the issue is resurfacing.

What would you study if you went back to school? I studied exactly what I should have. I think everyone should study liberal arts. Some department store magnate said, ”All salesmen should be poets.” It makes people more creative.



CHRIS WEBBER

Age 31

Resides Brooklyn

Occupation Librarian

Should colleges get rid of SATs? I don’t think we should put our complete faith in the SATs, although I do think there should be some kind of standard.

Did you take them? Yes. It neither helped nor hindered my college applications, because I ran track. As a high school athlete, I doubt anybody who was interested in me was actually looking at my transcript.

What would you study if you went back to school? Film.



RANDY FORD

Age 41

Resides Brooklyn

Occupation Messenger

Should colleges get rid of SATs? I think that test should be taken because without it, colleges have no standards, nothing to judge whether one student is smarter than another.

Did you take them? No. I got my GED.

What would you study if you went back to school? I couldn’t tell you that even in my dreams. I really have no idea.