Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Could It Be, A World That Is SAT-Free?

Wake Forest would rather see students spending their Saturdays doing community service or playing in a youth symphony rather than in tutoring sessions or taking the SAT or ACT. This seems to verge on college admissions heresy.

But the dean of admissions at Wake thinks it's the way to go, as she points out here. It sounds sensible to me, and as we have heard at college information sessions, the GPA is considered a better gauge of college performance than standardized tests.

But for now, most schools still want the scores, and as a result, we want them to be as strong as reasonably possible. I am certainly counting on just one or two takes on the test. Colleges do not like to see, for instance, four sets of scores. And besides, there really are better ways to spend Saturdays.

Meanwhile, our teen has started an online coaching program that emphasizes short, consistent daily prepping rather than several-hour classroom marathons.

We'll see how it goes. What's your thinking on these standardized tests?

1 comment:

  1. My opinion is that standardized tests are, in fact, valuable. A common question we get out here in Colorado is "How could my child get such a low grade on the ACT/SAT, but have such a good GPA?" The answer I'm seeing is that some GPAs are "fudged" by teachers motivated to give higher grades. In addition, reading speed and comprehension is an important factor in success in college/life, but is not needed to do well in high school. Students with this skill (and a love of reading) do much better on the standardized tests, but others can get through high school fairly easily without it. Real (as opposed to use of gimmicky) preparation for standardized tests can help a student prepare for college in ways that high school (in many cases) does not require - e.g., speed reading, solving problems/puzzles not taught in math courses, expanding vocabulary, ...