Not Everyone is a Test Taker

Not Everyone is a Test-Taker

More than half of students in 2014 did not hit the benchmark for SAT/college readiness, this problem would be reversed by preparing students better or even changing requirements.  I have noticed that in order to get into certain colleges you must have a curtain SAT score, why is this fair? It’s not. A lot of students including myself are horrible test takers, but, I can fill out a worksheet on the same things and get it all correct. So why do colleges base their decisions off of SAT scores? This is because everyone takes the same test and it is easier to compare students. Most colleges don’t pay attention to if your great leader or the team captain of the football team, you need to have a good SAT score. While those achievements help they’re not the most important.

Being a high school student I have run into situations where a I fall maybe a couple points under the requirement for SAT score requirements but, my GPA is high enough. Really, this shouldn’t happen my number one weakness is taking any kind of test. My strength is explaining it and understanding it in class. About 16-20% of students have high test anxiety, making this the highest leaning barrier. Another 18% are troubled by moderately-high test anxiety. According to The New York Times these students “blank” or “freeze” on tests. The SATs are obviously a big standardized test that can affect your whole future. These big test are not fair to these students. Colleges need to change the main requirements that are in place to fit the needs of ALL students. Schools like Pitzer College don’t look at test scores unless you choose to send them in. Instead they look at your extracurriculars, and overall commitment to their schools core values. These school requirements are very ideal and make sense. It gives all different kinds of learners and students the chance to show who they are through activities and not through a SAT or ACT scores.

Some people may argue that SAT scores are crucial to seeing a students intelligence and understanding of what they have learned in subjects such as math and writing. As this may be important for teachers and their understanding of what the students are learning but, college is the step before you are truly in the real world. In real world students need leadership skills and basic real world applications to survive the rest of their life. So shouldn’t colleges be looking at the person and not numbers on a computer screen? This is all standardized tests are. The college Bars, in Annandale-on-Hudson, N.Y. will accept high school students if they can write four 2,500 word research papers and deemed worthy of a B+ or higher by a professor. Their goal is to “reward the best candidates, rather than just those who are best able to market themselves to admissions committees”. Studies have shown that written essays typically show more knowledge than standardized tests. No, this does not show leaderships skills like it would if colleges were looking at athletics which shows leadership and being capable of dealing with real life situations but, students are able to express themselves which they can’t in a multiple choice test.

Colleges should use different admission criteria other than SAT and ACT scores.  Tons of students have a hard time taking tests due to anxiety and being bad test takers. Therefore, colleges should look at the students values and what they have been involved in and their accomplishments through High School. such as Athletics and Leadership roles.Next, students can’t express themselves through a multiple choice standardized test,  colleges won’t be able to see if the student is fit for their program, instead they see if they’re smart enough. In some cases students are discouraged because they may have a lower SAT score, even though their GPA is high because taking tests are a struggle for a lot of students. Colleges should use different admission criteria other than SAT and ACT scores.  








Cortney Spencer

Works Cited

Gonchar, Michael. “Should Colleges Use Admissions Criteria Other Than SAT Scores and Grades?” The New York Times, The New York Times, 2 Oct. 2013,

Simpson, Susan. “5 Ways Colleges Need to Change.” PreparedU View | Bentley University, 23 Sept. 2015,

VOA. “Colleges Look to Change Admission Process.” VOA, VOA, 21 Feb. 2016,

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