Schools need to remove standardized testing
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Standardized tests are there to challenge, and colleges further this challenge when a certain score is set as a standard for what’s “good enough.” Whether it is for scholarship purposes or just getting into a school, most of America’s juniors and seniors have tackled either or both the ACT and SAT multiple times, trying to get that “magical” score that will grant them their goal.
Some colleges have no touchstone score that students must achieve in order to receive an acceptance letter, but others may not even look past their score if it is not a certain number.
For example, as a senior, I have taken the ACT twice and am now preparing for a third time. My goal: 31. According to Ferris State University’s merit scholarships, a 3.9 GPA and 31 ACT or 1420 new SAT score will get a student a full tuition scholarship. Currently, I have the GPA (3.95) but only have a test score of 27 on the ACT. So why does Ferris mesh a 3.9 with such a high 31?
I took the SAT as a junior, and when I received a 1250, I focused my time and energy more toward the ACT, a test I heard was much easier. That being said, the first time I took the ACT I received a 27; a 30 in the math was my highest and a 24 in science was my lowest. Second time, I received the same score, only with different subject scores; my highest was a 31 in English and lowest was a 25 in math.
When only looking at my first score, my strength is math, and weakness is science; however, in my second score, I excel in English but fail in math, which had previously been my best score. This shows that the ACT or SAT does not test intelligence – they tests one’s ability to take a test.
Yet, companies like College Board assert their test completely shows a student’s readiness for college – on a numbered scale.
The fact of the matter is, standardized test scores and success in college do not correlate. A test cannot tell how smart a person is, how capable a person is of doing well in college, or how worthy a person is of attending any school because it only tells one how good he is at taking a test.
And, shockingly, tests aren’t something students will continue to face for the rest of their life. It is unfair the system is designed so critically toward how well students do on one test.
I propose we put less stress on the numbers in school, like GPA and test scores, and more on college and career preparation. Schools should be given funding to help students excel in his or her career area before they head off to college. After all, how useful is advanced algebra to an English major?
And similarly, during the application and scholarship processes, colleges should be required to look more at who a student is and how that student challenges his or herself rather than just numbers. A number does not define one’s worth or intelligence.
If a student is good at what he wants to go into for a career, in my opinion, he’s golden.