Thursday, August 18, 2011

Talk is Cheap

There are many important aspects in the college acceptance process. First is being involved in school through extra-curriculurs. Second is finding a sport your passionate about. Third is having good grades. And lastly is getting a good SAT score. In Drive the author states that students are often more worried about getting a good grade than actually learning.

Yes, maybe I should care more about my grades than about what I learn. But please tell me how I shouldn't do this if this is what everyone cares about. For me to get into college it is more important for me to have an A than for me to learn. Most of the time I will comply with what the teacher wants because if I don't then my grade will surely go down. When I apply to college, they won't see that I went out of my way to do something different. They see that my grades went down. Pink states,"Too many students walk through the schoolhouse door with one aim in mind:to get good grades. And all to often the best way to reach this is to get with the program, avoid risks, and serve up the answers the teacher wants the way the teacher wants them."(Pink, 176). I admire the effort the author makes to prove that kids will never learn if they are always reaching for a grade rather than knowledge. But unfortunately the grade is everything.

This doesn't only apply to high school grades it also applies to the SAT. For me to even think about applying to an Ivy League I better have a minimum score. Already from the get-go kids who want to even go to college are being told that many gates will be closed for them if they don't get the right score. How can you even expect a student to think about learning? The SAT is all about memorizing rules and knowing what to expect. In no way does it expect me to actually have any knowledge. All I have to know is what is going to be on the SAT. When I first took the practice test I scored a 140. That score according to SATScores.US is less than the average in 2008. That means that I was below average. However, I know I'm not a below average student. How am I supposed to think that colleges care about what I learn if they wouldn't even consider me with my previous score?

I had to learn that colleges care very much about a score. So in turn I cared even more about that score. I started hard core SAT prep and I got a 1890. While that may be good enough and I am content. I am also upset. Why should a college care so much about a score? I think Pink did something daring by telling everyone that this is not the best way to motivate kids. However, not much will change. His book may be a best seller, but it will not change the school system. Of course there has to be something to evaluate how kids will do, but the SAT in my eyes doesn't determine how I will do. I may not have gotten a perfect score and I don't need to. That test does not determine if I will succeed, I determine that.

Where I come from at this age I should have been a high school drop out. I should have done drugs. I should have gotten drunk. I should have been a gang member. But I haven't and I never will. I will not let society determine who or what I'm supposed to be or what I'm supposed to do. The book is nice, but it didn't make a difference in my eyes. Talk is cheap.

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