Inequalities of Standardized Testing

March 27, 2024

Are standardized tests truly the gatekeepers to higher education, or are they just another hoop to jump through in academics?

In this episode of the Better Learning Podcast, Kevin Stoller delves deep into this contentious topic with Shaan Patel, the mastermind behind Prep Expert. Brace yourselves for a conversation that will challenge your perceptions of education, standardized testing, and the road to success.

It's no secret that college entrance exams hold immense power over a student's future. Shaan Patel knows this firsthand. Despite being a stellar student, he grappled with test anxiety and uncertainty when facing the SAT.

But here's the twist: Shaan didn't accept defeat.

Instead, he went on a journey of self-discovery and relentless preparation, ultimately increasing his score an astounding 640 points to perfection. Shaan's improvement wasn't just about acing a test; it was about shattering the myth that standardized testing is an insurmountable barrier for those who don't fit the mold.

This shows that the current system is flawed. Standardized testing, though intended to level the playing field, often ends up exacerbating inequalities. It's a game where the rules seem arbitrary, and victory eludes many deserving candidates.

In our conversation, Shaan doesn't just critique the status quo; he offers tangible solutions. From reimagining the education system to prioritizing skills over scores, he lays out a roadmap for reform that's as inspiring as it is pragmatic.

  • College entrance exams play a crucial role in the college admissions process and can significantly impact a student's chances of getting into their desired university.
  • Education should focus not only on content but also on developing skills and traits such as self-motivation, hard work, and time management.
  • Standardized testing provides a merit-based framework for evaluating students and can help differentiate between individuals in a system with grade inflation.
  • The education system can sometimes feel like a game, with students and schools trying to navigate the rules and achieve the best outcomes. Life can be seen as a game, with individuals striving to get ahead and succeed in various areas such as business and career.
  • Equal opportunity is important, but making everyone equal in outcomes may not be realistic or desirable.
  • The education system faces challenges in balancing equity and access with the realities of the real world.
  • Drive, grit, and self-motivation are crucial for success, regardless of one's circumstances.

Learn More About Prep Expert (As Seen on Shark Tank)

Follow on Shaan Patel on Social Media:


Become a Member


ALEP / Certificate Programs


Comprehensive industry education: ALEP and Advanced Certificate Program


Online Awards


Visit our showcase of past online entry submissions


LearningSCAPES 2024


October 16-19, 2024
Portland, OR