Universities should not require standardized testing

Raven Barton, Editor-in-Chief

With early application deadlines right around the corner, seniors are beginning the long process of applying to colleges. This can be exciting for some students however, for the rest it can be very stressful when comes time to take the standardized tests.

When applying, there are multiple factors that contribute to getting into the college of a student’s choice; such as their grade point average (GPA), American College Testing (ACT) and Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) scores, activities, recommendations as well as essays. To make matters worse, some colleges strictly look at GPA and test scores. If these do not meet the minimum requirements of the school the student is applying to, the chance of getting into that school is not as high.

Test scores add relatively little to the ability of colleges to predict the success of students, which is why they should not be a main factor in getting into college – or even a factor at all. Studies undertaken by the College Board, generally indicate that the SAT adds only modestly to the prediction of student success after high school GPA is taken into account.

By eliminating standardized tests as a required element of applications, it would increase the number of highly qualified applicants to colleges, increase the quality of the enrolled freshman class and increase the diversity of the schools.

Instead of focusing on standardized test scores, colleges should look more into what that student has done in high school. There they will see how much work and effort the student has put forth in their previous years. This information provides a glance of how that student will reflect in college and what true qualities they possess.

The SAT or ACT may indicate what a student has learned over the years but for some – this is not the case. Some students are just not as good at standardized test taking and this is where it becomes a problem. These students may have a perfect GPA, a perfect record and be involved in numerous activities, but cannot reflect their full capability because they are not good at taking a test.

For students who are inadequate test takers and an SAT or ACT is required for the college or university they would like to apply to, they should make themselves stand out. Maintaining a decent GPA, joining clubs and sports or volunteering in the community will help one become noticed.

Standardized test scores for some applicants conceal more than they reveal. When the requirement of submitting test scores deters some potentially strong students from even applying or being rejected from a college, then it is time to take a fresh look on what is really important when applying to schools.