Standarized testing is an efficient scale

Mary Schafer, Contributing Artist

Mary Schafer, Contributing Artist

Stelio Louka , Contributing Writer

Alot of students resent standardized tests like the SATs and the ACTs; they add on to an ever-growing list of academic “to-dos”, take up a lot of time, and are stressful. This anger at the system encourages many high school students to question why these scores are necessary in the first place. Many news articles have been written stating that these scores really mean nothing in the long run, or they do not measure ability at all. All of these concerns combined have led to a handful of colleges disregarding standardized test scores. Should this be the case?

Although many people claim that the standardized test scores a“re irrelevant for their future endeavors, this is actually not true. After high school, there are a multitude of different tests (LSAT, MCAT, GRE, and GMAT to name a few) that are necessary for admission into graduate schools. So, in this case, being a “bad test- taker” cannot excuse you from being admitted into quality academic institutions, just like being an overall “bad student” cannot excuse you from being admitted into quality academic institutions.

Maybe standardized tests like the SATs and ACTs are outdated, but the Educational Testing Service continues to revise them. Even if we ignore this fact, these tests allow students to improve their studying skills. They force students to grow their vocabulary, and make sure students nail down their basic math reasoning and reading comprehension skills. They teach students to work faster and think more effectively, all of which are vital skills for the future.

Many have argued that standardized tests do not measure real capability. Although this might be the case, that does not mean that standardized tests do not measure anything. It has been proven that hard work and persistence can improve your SAT scores a lot. So maybe the increase in your score could be used to see how much you were able to grow. By doing this you can see how much you have put into studying. This quality of hard work and persistence means a lot to colleges.

Standardized assessments are just another way for students to grow their resumes if they believe that they are lacking in other areas such as GPA, extracurricular activities, teacher recommendations, or sports. This extra medium for quantifying a student’s success can be a relief to some high school students who find that acing their standardized tests is not particularly difficult.

Although the standardized testing system has many faults (monopolizing the college admission process, not being an accurate measure of intelligence, being out of touch with the things students learn in school, stressful, overly convoluted, etc.) we should not seek to overhaul the whole institution, but seek instead to reform it. If we work with the testing process rather than complaining about it, we can make the gauntlet of applying to college a little less intimidating.