SweSAT (Högskoleprovet), without glasses and speech synthesis

Swedish Scholastic Aptitude Test (SweSAT) again. But not for me.

During studies and exams at university and later in working life, you have the right to use speech synthesis. There are plenty of good speech synthesis programs. In primary school and upper secondary school, speech synthesis may be used. Of course, you can also use speech synthesis in your spare time. When you think about it a little more closely, it is only on SweSAT that you are not allowed to use speech synthesis. Technology has been mature for many years.

I am convinced that I would do well in college. But I won’t enter with my grades. SweSAT could be a way to show my ability to study at college.

Today’s solution is no solution.

At SweSAT, people with dyslexia can get extra time to pass the exam. When you have struggled with decoding and reading comprehension, you are pretty exhausted after a few hours. The extra hours are of little or no use because the brain is too tired to decipher the text.

Imagine if the need for glasses for reading were looked at the same way, and the solution would take longer. What would it be like for those struggling to decipher every word? It would be absurd not to let them use their glasses; it would not measure their reading ability at university. However, this is how it is for many people with dyslexia today, so the analogy is not completely stupid.

Below are arguments against speech synthesis on SweSAT from the Swedish Council for Higher Education (UHR). I have rewritten it and added glasses in conjunction with text-to-speech to illustrate its absurdity. The link to the original text is here.

Arguments against glasses and text-to-speech

“- We don’t know if we can do it safely. Maybe it’s Google glasses with a built-in camera and connection, etc.”

“- Introducing listening tests or glasses also means additional costs for the Swedish Council for Higher Education…”

– We must also establish that it is equivalent to the regular exam. We test the ability to work quickly and, above all, to read… The university exam partly measures how quickly you can absorb written text; glasses change the text.”

“- SweSAT is not an ordinary knowledge test that tests some acquired knowledge; it is an aptitude test. You introduce other dimensions to the test with listening tests or glasses.”

“- The issue is not with us. We assess that this requires the universities to agree on it.”

“- Based on this, it seems more reasonable that people with dyslexia or glasses take a different test than regular test takers and end up in a different result group. However, it is also not completely successful because you risk feeling singled out and treated differently.”

“- The matter must be investigated. In 2011, SweSAT will have fewer long texts, which should benefit people who need glasses or have dyslexia.”

2011!! I got the answers above in 2010.

//Tor Ghai, 31/3-2017

Tor Ghai

Tor Ghai has developed the text-to-speech program TorTalk, which is currently available at 17 universities and colleges in Sweden.