Students shouldn’t focus on standardized tests

Isa Taylor, Voices

Many schools emphasize the importance of standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT because they believe these tests will help students get into college but is this truly the case? As colleges and universities have changed over the years, their desired traits in potential students have evolved to be more inclusive instead of just focusing on academic ability on tests. 

According to an Inside Higher Ed article, as of 2021, about 1,775 colleges and universities in the United States do not require SAT or ACT scores or even consider them at all. This is an advantage for students who are not academically inclined in high school and gives them a better chance at pursuing further education in college. 

Students shouldn’t expend most of their energy on standardized tests; instead, they should utilize that time to expand their prowess into other fields to develop skills and passions they already have. 

According to Halle Edwards, the national average ACT score is 20.3, and a SoFlo Tutors article states that the national average SAT score is 1051. Both scores are not enough to impress colleges and demonstrate how most high school students do not attain high scores. These tests can be misleading about a student’s abilities because they do not showcase everything a student can do or reflect their potential.

While standardized tests increase the probability of a student being accepted into college, especially an Ivy League university, it isn’t worth it if the student cannot meet those standards despite their best efforts. An article published by the National Society of High School Scholars writes how students still can be admitted into colleges and may even have an advantage if they explore non-academic avenues. 

“A high school student who goes beyond his or her academic endeavors to develop skills in sports, creative arts, journalism, or anything else can gain an edge,” the article explains. 

It is more beneficial for a student to develop their passions and skills than memorizing how to pass a test in the long run. Not only would it be more enjoyable, but it also would allow them to start pursuing other opportunities or even careers that involve their interests. 

As a high school student myself, I find that developing my interests is productive in improving necessary skills and more engaging than studying. Sports and clubs are great opportunities for me to explore something I want to explore further and expand my options after high school. 

Some people may say that test scores are important to colleges and universities, and they would be right. However, it is not the only thing that counts in applications. It is the combination of things that make a student desirable that matters, which includes, but is not limited to, standardized test scores. 

To find their interests or passions, students should participate in extracurricular activities and workshops to explore and expand their knowledge. Colleges will reward dedication and hard work.

Gaining more information on the next steps is crucial, so students should research opportunities near them that they find interesting and best cater to their desires. There are plenty of options, but it’s important to pick the right ones.