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What to Consider Before Opting Out of Standardized Tests


May 1, 2015
Standardized testing is as much – if not more – a part of the college process as tweeting your acceptance, Snapchatting your new roomies and buying a shower caddy...or at least it used to be: According to reports, there is a growing trend toward test-optional admissions. What does that mean? If a student decided to apply to a test-optional institution, they can choose whether or not to submit ACT/SAT scores as part of their application. Thinking about signing up? Don’t shred your test prep materials into confetti just yet; here are some things to consider, courtesy of Time Magazine: Your academic record: When admissions counselors evaluates a test-optional application, they pay particular attention to grades and the difficulty of the completed curriculum. Students who excel in AP, [...]
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19 months ago 2 comments

In a perfect world, every student would have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge and an insatiable passion for learning. Reality check: We don't live in a perfect world and motivating underachieving students to perform well in school and on standardized tests is a serious challenge. What should educators do? The school board in Huntsville, Alabama has decided to try an approach many exasperated [...]

36 months ago 0 comments Read More

For seniors in high school, it’s about that time to dive into your college applications. The process is rather involved and has the potential to become very stressful but here’s how you can go about it while retaining your sanity. First, you likely already have a list of colleges you are considering but start narrowing down your top contenders. Look at the majors they offer and see if they [...]

50 months ago 1 comments Read More

Sure, most high schools won’t be back in session for another month but some rising seniors aren’t wasting any time getting back into the academic swing of things: As of Tuesday evening, admissions season officially began with the launch of this year’s Common Application. According to the not-for-profit’s website, 300 individuals registered for Common Application accounts within the initial 30 [...]

52 months ago 0 comments Read More

After my high school graduation, I could not wait to start attending college and gain more life experience by being out on my own. Before I graduated from college, however, I heavily anticipated the break that I would be taking before I began law school. I dreamed about all of the extra rest that I would be getting and became even more excited when I thought about all of the extra energy that [...]

55 months ago 0 comments Read More

College students who want to attend graduate school not only need good grades, excellent recommendation letters and related experience in the field they’re planning to enter but also a solid score on the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE. But what happens if the score you receive isn’t what you (and the schools you’re applying to) were expecting? Starting in July, it’s ScoreSelect to the [...]

56 months ago 0 comments Read More

Okay, be honest: Have you ever cheated on a test? Last fall, at least 20 teens in New York State were involved in a cheating scandal for the biggest exams of their academic careers: the ACT and SAT college entrance exams. Five of those students were accused of taking the tests for others and the other 15 allegedly paid those individuals between $500 and $3,600 to take the tests for them. One of [...]

56 months ago 0 comments Read More

SAT, ACT and AP these are all acronyms for the tests that many high school juniors and seniors are gearing up to take in the next few weeks. While these tests may not be fun, they are important because they help determine which universities and colleges you get into and whether or not you’ll receive credit for intro classes. So to help ease the pressure of taking these tests, I am here to offer [...]

57 months ago 0 comments Read More

Recently, The New York Times revealed that two studies have shown that many community colleges wrongly place students in remedial classes. The main reason why this happens is because students are placed according to their standardized test scores, rather than their cumulative GPAs – in other words, students are forced to pay for classes they don't receive college credit for and, if not for one [...]

57 months ago 0 comments Read More

Upperclassmen across the country are stressed in every sense of the word. And it would come to no surprise that said students are currently walking around in oversized tees and sweats, with mangled hair and dark circles under their eyes, which can only mean one thing: The SATs are just around the corner. For years, the SATs have long been synonymous with intense anxiety and while that is [...]

58 months ago 0 comments Read More

We’ve all had at least one teacher that has impacted our lives in a positive way. Whether their passion for the subject they were teaching led you down a new educational path or the skills they imparted are still ones you use today, more educators like that are needed and a newly-funded program may make that possible. The Obama administration showed its support in increasing teacher [...]

58 months ago 0 comments Read More

As soon as high school students drop their college applications in the mail or send them hurtling through cyberspace, they breathe sighs of relief thinking the hardest part of the application process is over. Not so much for college admissions officers, whose challenges are just beginning: They must review each and every transcript, essay, standardized test score and extracurricular to select [...]

59 months ago 0 comments Read More

Many colleges across the country offer remedial courses for students in subjects like math, English and science to better prepare them for the curriculum ahead but as budgets continue to tighten, administrators in Ohio are looking to cut funding for these classes completely. According to the Alliance for Excellent Education, the annual cost for remedial classes in American higher education [...]

60 months ago 0 comments Read More

I have been looking at graduate schools for a while now to better prepare myself for a career in my profession of choice. If you are interested in graduate school as well, you probably had the same question I once did: When and how do I start preparing? We recently had a graduate school seminar here at Michigan Tech that talked about when to start applying, what to expect, taking the GRE, [...]

60 months ago 0 comments Read More

I have been attending college for about four years now and have never taken a semester off. The thought used to make me shudder – how could someone even think of taking time off from school?! – but after this semester, it doesn’t sound like such a bad idea. Some of my friends took semesters off to travel and learn more about themselves, while others were lost and not sure what they wanted to [...]

60 months ago 0 comments Read More

As I type this blog entry, I have less than two months of college left before I get my bachelor’s degree...and I am on an emotional rollercoaster. When I first found out that I would be able to graduate a semester early, I was overcome with joy and during the summer, I could not wait to begin the fall semester and kept having visions of walking across the stage and smiling proudly as I [...]

61 months ago 0 comments Read More

For students seeking more flexibility in their college schedules, online classes are often an excellent alternative. Coursework can be done from anywhere with an Internet connection but when it comes to test taking, how do instructors know the person answering the questions is doing so honestly? Western Governors University has come up with a solution: Say cheese! Up until a few years ago, [...]

61 months ago 0 comments Read More

So you took the standardized tests, filled out the application, wrote the essay and secured the appropriate transcripts and letters of recommendation well in advance in order to apply to your first-choice school early. Nice work – it’s just too bad Mother Nature had other plans. The late October storm that hit the Northeast knocked out electricity, Internet access and, for some students, [...]

61 months ago 0 comments Read More

Cheating is a serious allegation, no one would argue that. So, when seven students were suspected of cheating on the SATs – a deciding factor when it comes to college admissions – it comes to no surprise that the scandal prompted a review of security at test sites worldwide. And we’re not talking a run-of-the-mill review either: The College Board president has called in a security consulting firm [...]

62 months ago 0 comments Read More

Thinking about applying to one of the University of California’s 10 campuses as a freshman for the 2012-2013 school year? If so, read the admissions requirements carefully, lest a change intended to ease your college-related stress levels send them sky high instead. As standardized tests go, all UC campuses call for freshman applicants to submit scores from the SAT and ACT but have [...]

62 months ago 0 comments Read More

Picture two Advanced Placement classes. One features a teacher giving a lengthy lecture while students take notes and the other has the instructor fielding questions and interacting with students based on the previous night’s digital assignment. Which one is producing higher AP test scores and information comprehension? According to some, it’s the latter – a method being referred to as flipped [...]

62 months ago 0 comments Read More

After 13 years of school, are you thinking about postponing your college experience? Taking a gap year is a common post-grad option, so don’t feel alone! Even I considered taking a semester off to pursue missionary work but in the end decided staying in school was the best choice for me. Still weighing your options? Here's some info to help you make a decision. The first step is attending a [...]

64 months ago 0 comments Read More

My major was political science but I took some pre-law classes in preparation for law school. Taking pre-law classes or attaining a pre-law minor looks great on a law school application; if you’re interested in taking this path, here’s what you can expect. My pre-law classes included Constitutional Law, Intro to Law and Criminal Justice. Students participated in mock trials during Criminal [...]

64 months ago 0 comments Read More

Assessing students’ writing skills takes a keen eye, an open mind and – sometimes – a lot of red ink. In an effort to save some green, however, Illinois has eliminated its last standardized state writing exam. The writing assessments for elementary and middle school students were dropped last year but now Illinois high school juniors no longer will be tested on writing skills. Though the [...]

65 months ago 0 comments Read More

Are standardized test scores and collegiate success one in the same? Not necessarily, a new study says. The National Bureau of Economic Research’s latest findings reveal that while the English and math sections of the ACT are "highly predictive" of college success, the segments unique to this exam – science and reading – have "little or no" ability to help college admissions committees [...]

66 months ago 0 comments Read More