Why are we getting rid of the SAT's writing section?
I don't understand why is College Board is getting rid, or at least practically eliminating, the writing portion of the SAT. I'm not disappointed because I love writing and therefore think it should be on the exam. I can care less about how fair this was because I had the writing portion on my exam. But let's be honest here: taking away the writing section of the SAT is a pointless endeavor that serves to benefit absolutely no one. By setting a withstanding precedent, the only way to really erase it is to remove everything about it. For some reason, however, College Board decided to make the essay optional, which makes no sense at all. I mean it's not as if the writing section was exactly "hard." It was probably the easiest section of the three. The writing portion was something you could actually study for and it made sense , so why get rid of it and make the essay optional? Making the essay optional is an awkward decision that will undoubtedly make people confused. Should students write it or not? The obvious answer is yes; it doesn't hurt and can only be there to benefit you. It's the safest and most logical decision out there, so why would someone not write it. If the SAT is changed to this format, the results are clear and obvious: the upper-echelon of colleges will require you to have the essay, most colleges, at least the middle-ground ones, will recommend it, and a few, if any, colleges won't require it but will leave it to the student's discretion. There isn't a real option here that suggests not writing the essay is beneficial. Having it be optional is pointless when most schools are going to want to see it anyways. In the end, everyone's going to write the essay and it'll be touted, eventually, as a requirement that is labeled as option. But this is all assuming that a 25-minute, completely rushed, and ultimately trashy essay is fairly graded by teachers, humans mind you, that we don't even know.
But I'm here to defend the writing section, so forget that I even wrote my last sentence. Overall, I actually like the writing section and I think it should play a bigger part in how we judge students. I don't see anything inherently wrong with how the writing section currently is; as a matter of fact, it's probably the fairest part of the SAT. It's not difficult to spot run-on sentences and a few comma splices. Even then, learning these things does not require hours upon hours of studying. These should be basic fundamentals of the English language. If we're to say English is the common language in the United States, then simple grammar fundamentals shouldn't be a problem. If they are, students should be learning these things and be tested on to make sure they know the material. It's a similar argument for the mathematics section and, to an extent, the english portion. Eliminating the writing multiple choice questions does not bode well for the future of the United States. Trust me when I say that I've seen a lot of bad writing.
There isn't any real benefit for eliminating the writing section of the SAT, at least in a scenario like this. If College Board really wants to do something, they might as well eliminate the essay too. I'm keen to believe that writing is something everyone needs to have a basic grasp of. I don't mean the little caveats that make writing annoying, but at least the general tidbits that should be common knowledge. By removing the SAT writing section, it only serves to harm how much students learn about the every language they speak everyday. I get it - nobody wants to study for another subject. But this is something that is so utterly important, have it a lost art if you will, and it needs to be recognized so. I'm not sure if there's any better way to explain this.