Standardized tests taken by college students nationally are heavily weighed as part of a complete application. There is obviously trepidation and stress over the actual test taking process. Before the tests are taken and once they are over, it’s important to keep in mind the affect that these tests have on acceptance to a school. Many people have spoken out against standardized tests, claiming they are a poor representation of a student’s intelligence or academic potential. The fact remains, standardized test are very important to colleges when it comes to admissions.
The reason some students and administrators have been in opposition is because standardized tests are given and scored in a uniform or standard way. While accommodations are made for students with disabilities, but most other students who may have emotional problems or are simply not good test takers are all painted with the same brush. One or several test days can literally mean the difference between acceptance and denied admission to a school.
Knowing the importance standardized test have for colleges, it is therefore important to be prepared before taking a test. Some students opt to take test prep courses or even hire private tutors to prepare for this major test. The fee that students pay these professionals to help them with standardized tests are often deemed worthwhile when test scores are received or if a second or third attempt reaps greater scores.
Recently, in response to opposition to administering of the most popular standardized test, the SAT, changes have been made to improve the test itself. In lieu of the 1600 point grading scale that was in place, 2400 points scale has replaced that. Also, a writing section has been added in addition to the math and English sections. Some other subtle changes to questions have been made in the past few years. It remains to be seen whether students are reaping the benefits of these changes.
The ACT is also a common college admissions test, yet many students opt out of taking it. Not all schools require this test be taken-which measure proficiency in science, social studies and other specific subjects. This test is scored on a 1-36 point scale. Students can opt to take additional writing ACTs if they deem that a necessary part of applying to college.
Both of these more common tests have national testing dates that are have registration on certain days. Preparing for these tests well in advance and using sample materials to study can make a huge difference in performance come test day. Stress isn’t an inevitable part of standardized testing. Being prepared and knowing what questions will be asked can greatly reduce anxiety and demystify the whole process for student test takers.
It is an unavoidable fact that students wanting to gain access to public and private four year colleges will need to take standardized test as a show of their academic status. It’s important for students to remember that while important, these tests aren’t the only way colleges judge college worthiness. Colleges realize that achievement and success over time is more likely an indication of future success than one day of tests.