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Do you think it's fair that a single standardized test can define you in your education?

I have recently begun applying to colleges. In doing so, I have been asked on numerous occasions what my ACT and SAT score is. Personally, I believe that one test should not be a determining factor in whether or not you get into college. Students have worked their whole primary education in preparing for college and what comes after receiving his or her diploma. A standardized test does not reflect our learning capabilities, but shows how well we can do taking a test. It is not fair to the people who struggle taking test, and those who have worked all 12 years of their education for this moment. #teacher #education #higher-education #japan #principal #professional-development #education-management


People may have different intellectual abilities. Withstanding, standardized test scores does not necessarily assess a student's success in college or reaching their career goals. Chelsea W.

Hi Alexa! I'm currently a sophomore in college, and I totally agree with you, a standardized test should not define your ranking or how smart/hard working you are. While doing ACTs and SATs are important for college, don't forget that it does NOT define who you are and your academic achievements. In addition, while getting into a higher ranked college provides you with more opportunities, it doesn't mean that "lower" ranked colleges will not provide you the same amount of support and opportunities. It depends on how much work you put into it, whether it be getting real world experience through internships and part-time jobs, or participating in professional clubs that expose you to your field of study. Albert P.

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David’s Answer

You are correct in thinking that a single standardized test does not define a students educational achievements. It is not fair and any college or university that relies solely on a single standardized test score as an admissions filter is not worthy of being considered an institution of higher learning. That being said, standardized tests are a large element of the high school to college transition process and while agitating and organizing for change it is necessary to deal with this reality. There are colleges and universities that work to make the admissions process more personal and that do not rely solely on SAT or ACT scores. Your job is to research these institutions, contact them and support them by directing your application to their admissions office. You can support your application to these schools by maintaining high academic standards throughout your high school career and by working on your admissions essay so that it reflects your academic achievements, the extra curricular activities that indicate your involvement in the community and your independent spirit of inquiry. Perseverance will demonstrate that you will become a successful student of higher learning.


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Aparna’s Answer

You have asked a wonderful question and I hear your pain and frustration. Colleges dont admit students just based on SAT or ACT scores. That is just one criteria. Your grades, essays and extracurricular activities are also taken into consideration. If you are applying to a state university in CA, the higher your GPA the better it is. Let's say you have a 3.0 GPA they don't expect a high test score. Check the eligibility index on the CSU system and see where you fall on the index. If your GPA is low then they expect a higher SAT/ACT score. If you are applying to the UC system, they do a holistic review. They use multiple aspects to select a student. They also look into how you stand in your local area context. If you are with in the average range of test scores at your high school you are going to be judged based on that- not of another school or student. Don't worry too much about test scores. Keep up with your grades and extracurricular activities. Try re taking your standardized tests, prepare with College Board free resources. Do at least 5 full length tests as practice. You will definitely improve. Don't give up, believe you can do it! Good luck!!


PS- there are some schools that don't care about test scores.
Look into a list of colleges online to see if any of those colleges interest you.


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Stephanie’s Answer

It certainly doesn't always seem fair, especially since some people are naturally better test takers than others, and test taking and memorization skills don't always directly translate into career success.


That being said, there are other ways to help you stand out to a future employer or grad school program, even without an off the charts standardized test score. The most important things you can do to help round out your resume and to feature your other strengths are to:
1) Get real world experience through an internship, part-time job, co-op or apprenticeship, extracurricular, etc and highlight how the skills you learned directly translate to the degree program or job you're applying for
2) Get good grades. Even if your test scores aren't extremely above average, with enough hardwork you can probably get As and Bs in high school and college to help boost your GPA.
3) Volunteer in your community. Showing you like to give back and make your community a better place will really stand out to admissions officers and potential employers who are looking for go-getters with a bias for action and compassion.
4) Get involved. Having a well rounded resume with various hobbies, extracurricular activities, sports, etc will show that you're someone who understands how to work hard, to stay organized, to collaborate with others, and ultimately how to be a leader. These are invaluable skills to have in the classroom, or in the future workplace!


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Kate’s Answer

As a former Chief of Innovation for the Florida Department of Education, it was important to understand how technology was being integrated in the classroom. We recognized there needed to be multiple methods of data collection to have an accurate picture on the use of technology in the classroom. So, we built a system in which we would use surveys, teacher observations, performance based assessments and action research to truly get a picture on the use of technology in the classroom.


In a number of states, the standardized test is only one component of an accountability system to ensure all students have achieved the standards. Education can be extremely complicated as you want to ensure that all students have the same opportunity to achieve.


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