Standardized tests may open doors for non-standard students

Thursday, March 8, 2001 at 1:00am

Richard Atkinson, president of the University of California, has recently questioned the value of the S.A.T. (Scholastic Aptitude Test) as a criterion for admission to college. He has gone so far as to advise that his university drop the test.

Allow me to disagree. I personally consider the S.A.T. and other standardized tests to be not merely important but vital. In fact, I know this to be the case. I know this because I have lived it.

I am a walking advertisement for the S.A.T. The S.A.T. got me into a fine private college. Without the S.A.T. I would have ended up at some huge mid-western diploma mill.

No doubt I would have languished there, my fine intellect receiving little of the nourishment it needed. I would have turned certainly to drugs, possibly to crime. A productive life would have been ruined. So I advise Mr. Atkinson to think again, and to think hard.

It's easy to make fun of the S.A.T. and its arcane questions. The analogies

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