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Opinion

Letters to the Editor: Is a college applicant’s GPA legitimate? That’s why we have the SAT

SAT test prep books
SAT preparation books at a Barnes and Noble in New York.
(Mario Tama / Getty Images)

To the editor: No normal kid likes the SAT. But all kids understand that there are really smart students and then there are really studious students. There is a difference between being smart and being studious, and thus we have the SAT and ACT. (“It’s time for UC to stop using the SAT,” Opinion, Nov. 7)

Of course, the wealthy kids have an advantage with tutors, but the state can remedy this discrepancy by mandating a class in SAT test prep for any student who wants to better understand the ins and outs of the exam. The state’s Department of Education should help less wealthy students with these tests now.

The SAT and ACT are needed. Too many studious students flunk out of the University of California system when they are faced with students who are a combination of very smart and very studious. Like it or not, dumbing down the UCs is not the answer.

Mark Walker, Yorba Linda

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To the editor: Janelle Wong claims that the “SAT and ACT add little or nothing to the high school GPA’s prediction of a student’s performance in the first year of college.”

The SAT or ACT is the only thing that allows college admission professionals to control for wildly different average GPAs at different high schools. Private schools, for example, have tremendously inflated GPAs. Just check the “school profile” of a private high school near you.

Eliminating the SAT would also increase the pressure on teachers to inflate their grades, and there is too much of that already. At the public high school where I taught, the department with the highest average GPA was the program we have for student parents. Yet, those students were not the ones best prepared for a UC education.

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Bob Kanne, Yorba Linda


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