Bynion’s Opinions: Standardized Tests shouldn’t score a college education
Copy Editor Taylor Bynion often finds herself wishing there was a way to overcome life’s daily inconveniences, struggles, and challenges. This column gives her a space to share her feelings on everything from minor annoyances to more prominent issues, and hopefully make some positive changes along the way.
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Saturdays are meant for sleeping in and reviving your tired brain for another strenuous week ahead. They are not meant for taking a three-hour test that can determine your future.
High school students first take the PSAT in their freshman and sophomore years. Then, in their junior and senior years, they move on to take the SAT or ACT. Throw in AP exams, and you have a classic case of alphabet soup.
Standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT help to determine if a student can cumulatively put together what he or she has learned throughout their education. Some schools use these tests to determine if a given student should be accepted into their college.
Some students, however, do not perform well on standardized tests. Is it really fair to determine if an applicant is ready for college based on their performance during one test?
While students are able to retake the SAT and ACT multiple times if they want to, if the student is not a good test taker or has test anxiety, the amount of times he or she takes the test may not make a difference.
In addition, there are some students who test very well and score highly on the SAT and ACT, but who are not well-rounded students or do not achieve high academic standards. According to an article published in the New York Times, “A high test score and a mediocre G.P.A. is a red flag – a sign that the student may not be working to potential.” Therefore these test scores do not fairly showcase the type of student that is applying for college.
In both scenarios, the student is not well-represented by the results of standardized test scores.
This is why some colleges are moving toward a test optional model. According to an article in The Washington Post, “More than 800 four-year colleges and universities are test-score optional for applicants.”
Test optional schools place no emphasis on standardized test scores and instead focus on the other aspects of the individual student. They consider consistent academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, and overall involvement in school a better determination of the quality of a student.
There are many things that can influence how a student performs on a particular day of testing. Looking more closely at the achievements of a student over a period of time shows a student’s work ethic and growth. A simple score on a test cannot show this.
Taylor Bynion is a Copy Editor for The Patriot and jcpatriot.com.