Standardized tests are not as important as they seem

Staff Editorial

The spring of junior year is an extremely busy and potentially stressful time for students. They are expected to keep their grades up while balancing the start of the college process and preparing for Advanced Placement exams. To add onto the stress, many juniors decide  to begin taking the The Scholastic Aptitude Test and American College Test.

SAT and ACT are standardized tests used by colleges to gain an insight into applicant’s capabilities as a student. The tests consist of multiple choice and open-ended questions in regards to the skills of reading, writing, math, and occasionally science, which last around three hours.

Students pay around $50 to take these tests on top of the price they then pay to send their scores to colleges. Juniors are offered one free test that they take in school without the essay aspect. Many also opt to pay for preparation classes in hopes of improving their scores. On top of all of this, students sometimes choose to take the test multiple times.

Students become stressed over their SAT and ACT scores and sometimes, the scores are indicative in their choice in higher education. Some may chose to apply to test optional schools, while others may opt to send their scores. Many schools still require standardized tests of either form.

It is true that these tests are a component of college admissions, however they are not necessarily as valued as they seem. When gaining input from various students, some make their test scores out to be the most important number in their life. It’s as if years and years of hard work in school will be disregarded if they do not get a certain score on these tests.

While these scores should be taken seriously and are not useless, they should not be given as much weight as people make it seem. A lot of aspects of a student’s application are considered, much more beyond just their test scores. What is considered varies between schools, but most look at grade point averages, extracurriculars, course load, and test scores. If one performed poorly on that one test, there are other aspects that will be looked at too. Schools that heavily weight one’s test scores do inevitably exist but so do test-optional schools, meaning they do not require applicants to take either of these tests at all.

Many schools have made the decision of identifying themselves as a test optional schools and have chosen to take a more holistic look at the applicant.

A few hours of test taking should not make or break one’s future. Everyone has bad days when they do not perform to the best of their abilities. External pressure is put on students to get the highest score possible when sometimes that just is not realistic. Many students are encouraged to take the test over and over again in hopes of improving their score in any way possible.

Students should not have the weight of these standardized tests placed upon them, especially in midst of the busyness that they will face in their junior and senior years. These tests should be taken as an opportunity to show what they know and prepare themselves in ways they see fitting but not treat the test or their scores as a life-or-death situation that will shape the course of the rest of their life.