We should say goodbye to standardized testing

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Graphic by Jordyn Brautman

Should standardized testing be required for the college application process?

Last year I took the ACT one time, but my score was not as high as I wanted it to be. I decided to retake the test to improve my score and all four times I signed up, the test was canceled due to Covid-19. 

The majority of juniors have already begun stressing about the approaching college application process and many aren’t able to take the ACT or SAT. To help alleviate this stress, I think most colleges and universities should make standardized test scores optional for the class of 2022 and their application process. 

I’m not a super fan of standardized testing. I have always had testing anxiety and focused way too much on the score I receive and how it will affect my future. I see standardized testing as a false judge of a student’s knowledge and comprehension skills. When students are required to complete a standardized test to determine their eligibility for admission into a college, they lose the chance to share their unique qualities with admissions officers. They are put into a box and judged based on where they fall in the rankings and statistics. They aren’t given the chance to showcase what they are truly capable of. 

When students are required to complete a standardized test to determine their eligibility for admission into a college, they lose the chance to share their unique qualities with admissions officers.”

When the pandemic first hit in 2020, testing locations were being shut down and SATs and ACTs were being canceled with little chance of rescheduling in the near future. This began to impact the likeliness of now high school seniors being able to take the standardized tests with enough time to retake them if they please. As a result, the UNC (University of North Carolina) school system announced that they were moving to a test-optional admissions process. 

Schools in other states have begun to look ahead for what their admissions processes will look like in the coming years, including how standardized tests will play a factor. In California, most University of California schools now test-optional for students applying for entry in 2022 just as they were for 2021. Some colleges and universities have already decided to continue being test-optional all the way through 2023

I think the schools that have already decided to remain test-optional through 2022, or even 2023, are making the right call. The application season was successful for those students who applied and were accepted into college with no test scores. When students who don’t thrive in stressful testing situations don’t have to submit test scores it relieves a bit of stress and allows them to be judged solely on their previous academic achievements, personal essay and extracurricular activities. 

Not only should schools be test-optional for the coming school years, but standardized testing should be abolished entirely. It doesn’t give students the chance to showcase their true potential and abilities. It is unfair to determine whether or not someone is cut out for higher education just based on a number. Colleges and universities should agree to get rid of the SAT and ACT score requirements, and I believe that we should all say goodbye to standardized testing.