Standardized testing isn’t the future

The college application process has become a battle of the test scores, and in order to change it, the SAT and ACT should be abolished.  

One number from a three-hour test ends up inaccurately reflecting 18 years of schooling.

Heavily weighting a college acceptance based on a single test score puts bias on students who are good test takers.

Standardized tests hardly reflect how much general knowledge a person might have.

Instead, test anxiety and mental endurance are put at the forefront of the process.

Rather than depending so heavily on one score, colleges should look at students as well-rounded individuals, taking their GPA, personal character and professional recommendations into consideration.

More than 1,000 colleges across the United States have opted for test-free applications, meaning they don’t require a test score as part of a student’s application.

These “test-optional admission” schools discovered  positive results, finding an increase in number of applicants plus more diversity on campus.

ACT and SAT scores play a role as shortcuts in the application process, cutting down the number of people qualified to apply and dismissing students who don’t have the chance to retake the exams or afford the test fees.

A student’s GPA should be enough of an indicator, especially since it reflects four years of schooling and 18 years of cumulative knowledge.

The school curriculum is dominated by teaching students how to take a test rather than learning, which is detrimental to their overall education.

Rather than teaching students to be better test takers, we should be teaching them to be better learners.

Class time should focus on teaching key concepts rather than the best strategy for scoring higher on a standardized test.

That is just the beginning.

Students will spend hundreds of dollars to go to ACT prep companies just for an extra point or two.

A common rationale for such tests is that they help standardize intelligence across schools.

There’s no way to know how one school’s criterion for an A compares with another.  

While that comparison may be the point of the tests, the tests aren’t accurately reflecting what students know. And that’s a major oversight.

Although proponents of standardized testing point out that those who can overcome test anxiety and prove to have mental endurance during an exam are the type of students who deserve to get into the best schools, that measurement isn’t the best for determining success in college.

Just because a student is skilled at taking a standardized test, doesn’t mean that student  has what it takes to succeed in college.

What will predict success in college is a hardworking student who wants to succeed.

By putting so much weight into one score, colleges are defining students by a number and ignoring qualities that matter.

by Grace Samuelson

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