In response to the column by Eneri Rodriquez, “The SAT Flunks Out When it Comes to Diversity” (Daily Nexus, Nov. 20), I completely agree that the SAT is an outdated and inaccurate test that unfortunately holds one-third of the weight in UC admissions. It is the reasons for change given in the column that I disagree with.

Rodriquez writes that the SAT fails to take into account the socioeconomic status of the test-takers and is unfair to those who lack resources such as AP classes, SAT prep courses, and the funds to take the latter.

I find it extremely hard to believe that just because a test-taker comes from a low-income neighborhood or family, answering questions about high school mathematics is so much more difficult for them than it is for any other test-taker, or that this makes the test unfair to them. SAT prep courses are offered at many high schools for as low as $5; the issue is making an effort to find and take the prep course. If the desire to succeed on the SAT is there, success can be achieved.

The column also mentions that students from low-income communities who lack financial stability and academic resources cannot receive the same GPAs and SAT scores as those from wealthier communities. It sounds like excuses are being made for poor effort. Why can’t a student from a low-income neighborhood get a high GPA? Students at a low-income area school may receive a lower-quality education than students at a high-income area school, but along with lower quality comes lower standards. This would make it just as difficult for a low-income student to earn an A with a low-quality education as it would be for a high-income student to earn an A with a high-quality education. The issue, again, is the amount of work the student is willing to put into getting that high GPA. If the drive to succeed is there, success can be achieved.

Rodriquez also writes that the SAT has been proven culturally biased, but I did not see commentary to that effect. What is culturally biased about asking students to read comprehensively and solve math problems no more advanced than second-year algebra? A worthy argument would be that test-takers whose second language is English are at a disadvantage, but, quite frankly, it makes it far easier to be successful on a UC campus if one is fluent in English.

The study that pins poor performance in class and on the SAT to socioeconomic status is incomplete without taking into consideration other issues that could affect students, such as the quality of home life. Students will be influenced by the way of life their parents or parent shows them. This will have a greater effect on the student than the amount of money their parents are making or their ethnic background.

The SAT does need to be changed, but for different reasons than stated in the column. It has become a test that students can study for. Students can take practice test after practice test and accustom themselves to the types of questions that are asked. The SAT is inaccurate because it doesn’t reflect achievement, just memory. A writing section on the SAT I would more accurately reflect students’ achievements, and the UC would have two writing samples to view instead of one.

The opportunity to attend a UC school should be given to those who show the most promise. The students who put in enough work to succeed under their school and community standards will shine through if they so desire. The SAT is not the only thing that determines whether or not a student is good enough for a UC. The personal statement, GPA and extracurricular activities are more accurate representations of a student’s work ethic and character. Moreover, the personal statement gives no prior advantages to any student.

Danny MacLeith is a freshman mathematics major.