The standardized college entrance exams known as the ACT and the SAT have been around since the early 1900s. Typically these tests are utilized for Admission to Colleges and Universities. Lately there has been much discussion and research over the use of these tests for acceptance into a college. This debate has produced a list of pros and cons on the use of these tests for college admission.
Arguments For Standardized Entrance Exams
Many colleges and universities view these standardized entrance exams to serve as a national standardized scale to determine how prepared students are for college.
Practicality- Standardized entrance exams offer explicit directions making them easy to administer and grade.
Preparedness- It is viewed that the student acquires college test taking skills when preparing for the exam.
Offsets Grade Inflation- Common in many schools recently is grade inflation. These exams offer a way to consistently compare student knowledge and aptitude.
Objective- Standardized tests are unbiased
Identifying Problem Areas- Areas that need improvement assessment by students, as well as schools and curriculum are brought to light by these tests, allowing action to be taken.
Arguments Against Standardized Entrance Exams
Critics of standardized entrance exams believe that these tests say are no longer as good an indicator of college success as was once thought.
Biased- There has been biased shown against women, certain ethnic groups and socioeconomic diversity. Students able to attend private top-quality schools tend to receive more preparedness, such as test prep tutor.
Stress- Worry and stress over taking these exams may cause the student to not focus their energy on more important academic and social activities that could benefit them in the future.
Impediment- Standardized testing impedes the assessment of a very important skill, creativity. For the most part, students study only materials needed to perform well on the standardized tests. This tunnel of study hinders any sort of creative or out-of-the-box thinking, which is a skill needed in college and in the workforce.
Confidence- Many times these tests scores are interpreted as the sole judgment of that student’s ability. Students scores may result in low self confidence in the academic world.
Ability- Many feel that standardized exam scores provide a neutral authoritative assessment of a child’s intellectual ability however, cultural factors, unfamiliarity with testing methods, test anxiety, and illness can all wreak havoc with how well a student performs. These factors could all result in the student not working to their best ability.
Morrison Tech takes the approach that standardized entrance exam scores do not depict the success a student will have in their post graduation career and we do not use those scores to determine any students acceptance to our programs. We believe that there are more ways to learn than through textbooks alone. Many students are tactile learners who learn by doing. A hands on education allows students to directly observe and understand what is happening. This way of instructing encourages students to do things on their own, problem solve issues that arise and effectively solve the issue, thus preparing them for the workforce where textbooks are not utilized to solve everyday occurrences. The majority of the college’s teachings are done in labs and hands on. Independent research by Morrison Tech has shown no correlation of success based on ACT/SAT scores. This discovery even more solidifies the colleges choice to not base acceptance on standardized test scores.
Only time will tell what the future holds for standardized testing in college admissions. For now, Morrison Tech will stand by their observation of these tests and continue to move forward with accepting students based on holistic standards.