The original intent of standardized exams was to break the stranglehold that elite high schools had on elite colleges.
As a recent study has shown, colleges that use standardized criteria more heavily in admissions are less likely to give preference to wealthy applicants. It is the wealthy who can more easily game the subjective criteria (essays, teacher recommendations, niche and expensive sports for athletic recruitment, etc) in the college admissions process.
But let’s not stop at just returning to the original intent of standardized testing. Let’s make it better. We can use SAT and ACT scores in a much more effective way to identify exceptional students.