Calling out the College Board

Aaron Sha, Business Team

College Board, reigning over SAT and AP test labels, has been and will remain the number one fear in the minds of high school students. Regardless of how many parents blindly place their trust in the organization, College Board is not as beneficial as it seems.

Founded in 1899 at Columbia University by a board of 15 schools, College Board is a not-for-profit organization that aims to prepare high school students for college by offering college-level Advanced Placement courses as well as the SAT.

However, like many of its exams, the infamous SAT is an unreliable measurement of students’ abilities. According to ABC News, there is a weak correlation between the SAT scores of college students and their grades, and that the SAT scores only explains 10 to 20 percent of the variation in the Grade Point Average of the first year.

College Board is also heavily biased in terms of social class. Students with higher-income backgrounds are able to purchase more preparation courses specialized for exams provided by College Board and gain exposure to similar questions, giving them an advantage over students who may not be able to afford such products.

This creates a gap in performance shaped by economic status, raising questions about College Board’s ability to provide an equitable, competitive and healthy environment for all students. College Board is, therefore, able to manipulate students into buying more of their products and services.

Yet another issue is within College Board’s fast-growing Advanced Placement (AP) program.

College Board has been increasing the number of AP courses, which a significant amount of students will undoubtedly choose, whether to make themselves more appealing to colleges or simply because they are interested. However, schools may not be able to find teachers well equipped with the knowledge to teach the newly introduced subject, resulting in the hindrance of students’ pursuit of knowledge.

College Board must change for the better by promoting more inclusive services relating to their exams as well as encouraging students to find outlets other College Board tests to demonstrate their knowledge.