In the aftermath of the pandemic, the college admissions process has encountered several obstacles, particularly when it comes to compelling students to take standardized exams.
Many commercial and governmental institutions have suspended or eliminated standardized test score requirements.
The decades-old practice of standardized testing has also come under fire as an inequitable admissions criterion. Data reveals that SAT-only system benefits rich white kids exposed to a distinct curriculum and access to extra exam resources such as private tutors. Whether you support or oppose the suspension of standardized testing requirements, prospective college students and their parents will undoubtedly meet policy changes while applying to colleges.
Here’s what you should know.
Proponents of Standardized testing say this
-Teachers are held responsible through the use of standardized assessments.
-These tests are analytical and reduce the selection to a single metric.
-They are well structured and objective
Opponents have these opinions
-Standardized test-taking isn’t flexible and doesn’t consider all factors.
-It is alleged that educators prepare students for taking the test instead of focusing on the subject.
-These tests do not measure progress.
How will standardized test scores affect you?
Although several of the nation’s best colleges have updated their standardized testing standards to suit students’ obstacles today, it’s crucial to note that not all institutions have done so, and not all modifications are the same.
Princeton University, for example, introduced a test-optional policy for newcomers and transfer candidates just for the 2021–2022 application cycles. Still, Pennsylvania State University announced a test-optional policy for first-year students until autumn 2023. Then there’s the state of Florida’s public university system, which still needs SAT or ACT scores for admission.
In contrast, the University of California system reached a breakthrough agreement that extends test-free admissions until at least 2025. Students who took the SAT or ACT and are applying to test-optional colleges can include their scores in their application if they like. Those who do not submit test scores will have their applications reviewed holistically based on characteristics such as completed curriculum difficulty, high school GPA, letters of reference, and extracurricular activities.
How to make your profile stand out without test scores?
If you apply to colleges that don’t take SAT or ACT results into account, you’ll need to highlight other aspects of your application. Here are some ideas for prospective college candidates who don’t want to submit standardized test scores.
During your junior and senior years, enroll in challenging courses.
Admissions officers want to see if first-time candidates can handle the rigors of the college curriculum and manage difficult classes.
With most of your essential high school classes done by junior year, it’s tempting to take advantage of a free period or enroll in a no-credit or straightforward subject.
Take a complete class schedule and choose courses relevant to the college program you’re interested in to demonstrate your aptitude for demanding homework.
Maintaining a high GPA should be a priority.
Create an enthralling personal essay.
Without standardized test results to potentially increase your college application, your essay now carries more clout than it did previously.
You must tell a memorable tale about your grit and reflect on how it affected you. Before submitting your essay, have it reviewed by a trustworthy instructor or counselor for spelling and punctuation errors, as well as criticism.
Initiatives and projects must be led.
Although school-sponsored extracurricular activities are valuable complements to your application, passion projects aren’t limited to the classroom.
Taking the initiative in your community is another method to demonstrate your leadership abilities. Whether creating your app or organizing a charity event for a local organization, these self-directed options can help you stand out on college applications.
Make sure that your social media outlets represent your best self.
Your social media profiles are a reflection of who you are.
According to a 2020 Kaplan poll, 36% of admission officials acknowledged reviewing students’ social media, including sites like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.
Forty-two percent of those who reviewed applicants’ accounts believed their results were favourable, while 58 percent said the material did not auger well for the student.
Use your social media profiles to show admissions staff how you’d positively contribute to their university by emphasizing your accomplishments and passions, and always be cautious about what you disclose publicly online.
Will colleges require standardized tests in the near future?
Regardless of the changes brought about by COVID-19, it’s crucial to remember that the great majority of universities who chose to go test-optional did so only temporarily. Some institutions have already decided to begin demanding the SAT or ACT later, while others have yet to determine.
Even given the arguments for eliminating standardized testing, there aren’t many grounds to expect universities to perform a complete 180 in the face of the pandemic’s difficulties. As a result, we strongly advise college candidates, particularly those interested in attending prominent colleges such as those in the Ivy League, to continue taking the SAT and ACT. We do not anticipate this short shift in standardized testing resulting in any long-term improvements in the sector.
We will assist you in navigating the complexity of college admissions.
To take standardized exams or not is the question. Or, to be more precise, one of the myriad questions that candidates and parents have when preparing for college. It’s already stressful enough. Why should universities change their requirements? But don’t be concerned. You don’t have to go through this ordeal by yourself. Miles Smart Tutoring is a well-known college admissions consultant with over a decade of expertise assisting individuals just like you in gaining admission to the school of their choice. We help kids gain access to some of the most outstanding colleges in the country! To guarantee optimal efficacy, all of our services are personalized to match the demands of each of our clients.
Please get in touch with us if you want to learn more about what we offer and how you can profit from it.