When kids start to narrow down where they would like to go to college, they have many things to think about: location, size, private/public, etc. but most of all, they think about their standardized test scores and how it measures them in relation to certain colleges and universities across the country.
Standardized testing is viewed as a way to measure knowledge of content and intelligence to see if you are prepared for college. It has turned into much more than that. About 35 years ago when my mother attended Lake Forest High School, it was expected that you take the test once and then that was the score you would keep and enter college with. Nowadays, however, students are taking this test multiple times with tutoring several times a week, constantly stressing over their number that “defines” the academic aptitude.
“So tutoring is probably one of the biggest stresses in my life right now. If I’m not tutoring (from 6-9) I’m either doing the homework, or stressing about how my score might not even go up. I have seen some very intelligent people not get a great score as well the other way around. It’s kind of a harsh way for kids to be judged considering basically their entire life depends on it. kids are also very busy, and they’re not going to have all the time in the world to focus on it, which shouldn’t disable the following years of their life.”
Many people struggle and stress about these these tests, including myself during my junior year. In our community especially, kids do not realize that tutoring multiple times a week, and 30s on the ACT is not “the norm” everywhere else. Now, there is nothing wrong with getting tutored to get that amazing score, but not everyone in our community has access to that sort of privilege. In fact, one of my close family members pursued 2 years of their high school career in a small town in Montana. He received a 28 on his ACT and was considered to be an absolute genius because of his first 2 years of education at LFHS. On the other hand, his friends in Montana were receiving scores ranging from 18-24 While in our community, these scores are perceived to be “below average,” in reality, the average ACT score in Illinois is actually a 21. I know many students who have receive almost no help on the test at all. Standardized tests are just one part of the college selection process, so be aware of overstressing about the test.
A plethora of other things are taken into consideration when accepting students, including: GPA, what courses you take, extracurriculars, recommendation letters, and also application essays. So if you don’t get that “average score” at your dream school, do not let that discourage you from applying. The only way you will have a 0% chance of getting into a school is if you don’t apply.
You will get into college. And more times than not, you will end up where you are supposed to go.