STAFF EDITORIAL: Submitting Test Scores for Admission Should Be a Thing of the Past

Adrian Nevarez | The Phoenix

Standardized testing has played a vital role in college admissions in the U.S., but some universities have started implementing policies that no longer require students to submit test scores when applying — Loyola should consider following suit. 

A record number of schools have dropped ACT and SAT admission requirements, according to an October 2019 report by the Washington Post. Prospective first-year students at Loyola are currently required to submit either an ACT or SAT score. However, as more universities drop this testing requirement, Loyola should think about what the test scores actually add to students’ applications. 

At the end of January, Northern Illinois University (NIU) announced in a press release it will no longer be considering standardized test scores for admission and merit scholarship decisions. The university explained it has come to the decision through national higher education studies and their own data showing a student’s GPA is a better indicator of future academic excellence. 

“Once we know a high school student’s GPA, one standardized test score is irrelevant,” NIU Executive Vice President and Provost Beth Ingram said in the press release.

Students with high GPAs who apply to colleges without submitting test scores graduate at higher rates than those with lower GPAs who send in scores, according to a recent study by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. 

This shows the obvious: students who had a good work ethic in high school will do better in college than those who had a high test score but a lower GPA. This would help Loyola enroll students who have shown more commitment to school work. Test scores are measured over the span of a couple hours while grades and academic resumes reflect a clearer picture of the student applying. 

Dropping the standardized testing requirement allows schools to focus more on students as unique people rather than data. 

Standardized tests are very stressful, causing students to feel pressure to do well. 

Test anxiety is the trait accounting for individual differences to the extent that people find examinations threatening, according to a psychological study on test anxiety theories, assessment and treatments.

There’s a lot of pressure for students to get good scores in these tests, in order to satisfy testing requirements and meet average admission scores for schools listed on websites such as PrepScholar. The average ACT score for admitted students is between 25 and 30, according to PrepScholar, but it doesn’t mean those who score lower than the average won’t get admitted. 

These standardized tests are causing unnecessary stress for students applying for enrollment at universities. Students are encouraged to seek out resources to prepare for these tests.

There are other ways to see what kind of student is applying for admission. Where standardized tests show how a student performed on one particular day, writing samples show a student’s voice and personality and GPA shows work ethic and dedication. These traits are much more important than a numerical score on an exam.

Spending a lot of money retaking the test, hiring specialized tutors — the ACT has turned into an entire money-making industry based off a test that most students are required to take to get into their school of choice. 

Why should people’s futures be decided based on one test?

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