Colleges kick standardized testing to the curb

With many colleges and universities becoming test-optional, the question arises of “is test optional really optional?”

Rebekah Alfulike (12) is in the midst of sending in her college applications. She took both the ACT and SAT and applied to Butler University, Indiana University, Miami Ohio, and University of Iowa, using the test-optional advantage.

“I did not send in my scores because I don’t think it reflects and demonstrates who I am,” says Alfulike.

When she was studying for the SAT, she was stressed because she wasn’t sure how to or where to begin studying.

“I felt relieved finding out I did not have to send in my scores,” said Alfulike.

Stress that these types of students go through when trying to decide whether to submit scores is due to the importance of high scores that often determines if one is accepted, wait-listed, or denied.

Standardized tests are used to evaluate the effectiveness of an educational program. Also used to see what areas students are struggling or lacking in, and to see what improvements one has made over the past couple years.

The scores received will most likely be sent when applying to colleges. Knowing that, excessive stress and anxiety peeks into students lives wondering if their score is high enough to get into their dream school.

Standardized tests, like SAT and ACT, have been in the American education system for a long time, since the mid-1800s. A main reason why most people struggle with taking standardized tests is because the score you get can determine whether one gets into college or not, which brings immense stress upon students in high school.

Rebecca Bellito, the college guidance counselor here at VHHS, answered some questions about how test-optional colleges and universities and how it has affected students that have filled out their college applications.

“I think it causes less stress from the standpoint of kids not being so hung up on a certain test score, or worry that there test score is holding them back from being submitted to places,” said Bellito.

A survey went out to all of VHHS and the results showed that out of the 87 people that responded, 65.9% of students are planning on sending in their test scores to colleges, but 64.9% feel like the test-optional option is an advantage.

Now knowing that the overall census of test-optional has been positive for most students, the question remains if colleges will stay test optional after the 2022 school year.

“I hope that colleges will continue to be test-optional for future classes, and I hope some students will be less fixated on getting a certain score and feeling discouraged if they don’t get that score,” said Bellito.

“Some colleges have gone a step further and are doing test blind admissions, meaning they’re not even going to look at any test scores [whether they were sent in or not],” Bellito explains.