Colleges seek best and brightest students, weighing their options on standardized tests

Caitlyn Grcich, Managing Editor

In a recent article published by the Northwest Indiana times, there was an expose on what colleges look for in standardized tests. Among the highest scores were all eight ivy leagues, as well as the University of Chicago and Notre Dame making high marks. Whether the argument of standardized testing is still good or bad is debatable, it still serves as a large factor when it comes to college acceptance rates.
According to guidance and college counselor, Jessica Ramos, she feels as though these standardized tests are a great asset for students.
“I think colleges use scores to gauge college readiness. Every student comes from a different school in a different state. Sometimes these schools have different standards. The tests aim to get a better idea of general knowledge and how much content you have mastered. If someone gets straight A’s in one school the rigor is not necessarily the same as another school. So standardized tests just add another piece to the puzzle”.
While there is certain aspects of disagreement, it can be said that the tests are, in fact, beneficial in some aspects. According to Ramos, they have recently become more detailed and easier to assess.
“The score reports in recent years have become a little more detailed where you can see specific areas where a student excels or struggles. They could potentially help a student narrow down which areas they can improve upon. This could help not only raise scores but also impact a student’s ability to get better grades”.
While there is the argument of whether these standardized tests are good indicators of intelligence, there is no doubting that they are a large piece of the puzzle when it comes to deciding college factors.
“I believe in multiple intelligences in the sense that we all have special talents and abilities. Some students do well with words and others do well with logic/ reasoning. Some students are great at art/music, and others are great with interpersonal skills. I do think the tests do help identify which students have a handle on reading comprehension and ability to do college level math, but I don’t think they are an indication on whether someone has college potential or if they are ‘intelligent’. There are students who just don’t test well, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work hard or are incapable of doing well in college”.
Despite the fact that this article was posted in the Northwest Indiana Times, it should not deter students from applying to the colleges of their choice.
“Test scores are important and you should always take time to study and to get as close to the scores that are required for admissions, but I always encourage students to apply to colleges even if they seem out of reach (on paper). Test scores are one part of the college application, not the entire application. It is much more important to do well in all classes, participate in clubs/sports, do community service, and write good/meaningful essays”.