You are more than just a test score

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You are more than just a test score

Ava Manelis

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Wake up, finish up some homework before school, jump in the car, go to school, get home, cram more homework and studying in before bed, pass out, and repeat it all the next day. Sound familiar?

It’s becoming more and more apparent that students these days are working themselves harder than ever seen before, and as a result, setting standards never seen before.

Because of these high levels, schools are so much more competitive and stakes for getting into schools are very high. What school your parents got into when they were seniors in high school might not even be remotely in your target range of schools, not because of how “not smart” you are, but just because of the prestige of some schools these days.

Obviously, one of the most important aspects when applying to college for students is your test scores. It’s one of the few things that defines you to a school admissions counselor and can be the root of a ton of stress for some students. Whether you took the SAT or ACT, it doesn’t really matter, but what does matter is the number you get back after taking the test. I’ll be the first to say that the hardest button I’ve ever had to click is the one that says “View your score here” in the email from ACT.

Being Generation Z, or as some might call us, the generation of change or new things, it’s no surprise that a huge aspect of our lives is changing right alongside us.

Some colleges are turning “test-optional,” which basically means the decision is up to the student as to whether or not they want to send test scores to a school, and no longer the school’s decision. The schools don’t require you to send your scores and leave it up to you to determine whether or not your test results are an accurate representation of your intelligence or something you want the school to be able to see.

New York University, University of Chicago, Bates College, Wake Forest University, Colby College, Rollins College, Fashion Institute of Technology- these are just a few of the many top-end colleges in the US that have turned test-optional in these past few years.

You get into school because of who you are, not because of any number that definitely shouldn’t define you.”

This is great news to hear for those students who don’t feel too confident in their test scores- for whatever reason that may be. This gives those students an opportunity to define themselves in other, more creative ways. This makes it so that more personal standards, your essay or letters of recommendations, are the reason you get into the school.

You get into school because of who you are, not because of any number that definitely shouldn’t define you.

Although it’s not clear exactly why some colleges are making this switch, many colleges have said that it would help to boost the diversity of their student body and have better ‘college success’ levels overall.

Although this could make getting into schools less competitive, it would also make it much fairer.

In the age of the college admissions scandal, where wealthy parents allegedly faked learning disabilities, bribed test proctors and had other people take standardized tests for their children, this test-optional aspect of colleges would make one aspect of this scandal, faking test scores, a thing of the past.

Although colleges aren’t turning test-optional because our students don’t like taking the SAT/ACT, I know that a lot of students (including me) don’t like the early morning wake-ups and sitting at a desk in a random school for many hours. This test-optional aspect of college is controversial but would diminish an aspect of school, standardized testing, that juniors (and sometimes seniors) stress about all year.

Although you will probably end up sending in your scores to at least some colleges, it’s interesting to see the changes that colleges are making right alongside our generation. And it’s interesting to think that one day, standardized testing may be a thing of the past and will no longer define us in the college admissions process.

But, no matter what your score may be, it definitely, definitely doesn’t define you. Who you are as a person is more than any number, even if the college process may make that hard for you to see.