Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

11.3: Argument Essay

  • Page ID
    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \) \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)\(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \(\newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\) \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\) \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)\(\newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    Making the SAT and ACT Optional Is the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations

    By John McWhorter

    New York Times, March 15, 2022


    In John McWhorter's article he explains that by Fall 2022 nearly 2000 colleges and universities will no longer require applicants to submit SAT and ACT test results, and questions their reasons for doing to. He believes that the reasons for making tests optional is to allow more Black and Latino students to be admitted. Click on the title link above to read the article. Then consider the questions below.

    Exercise \(\PageIndex{1}\)

    1. What does McWhorter believe is the real reason?
    2. What is he arguing for colleges to do?

    1. If yes, did you feel your score adequately reflected your academic potential?

    1. How could you rebut McWhorter's argument that "When we expect less of people, it's often because we think less of them"?
    2. Do you agree with McWhorter's charge that schools value diverse students as demonstrating "equity" in institutions rather than "equality--as in equal access to resources"?

    Ideas for Writing

    1. Research opinions and data from colleges that have continued as well as discontinued the tests.
    2. How has eliminating the test changed the student population at colleges?
    3. Would you recommend that SAT, ACT, and other placement tests be optional?

    Work Cited

    McWhorter, John. "Making the SAT and ACT Optional Is the Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations." New York Times, 15 Mar. 2022, Accessed 2 Jan. 2023.