Is Standardizing Testing A Good Measure of Intelligence?

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Emma Mancini, Staff Writer

Standardized testing – a way for people to learn the way to take a test, not the actual material. The SAT and ACT are ways for people to display their knowledge of how to take a certain style of testing, with studying mostly being around how to understand the loopholes of these tests.

With the current pandemic, colleges going test-optional brings a pivotal question – Is standardized testing really a good measure of intelligence?

Now that people are able to submit test scores or opt out of that option, it is revealing to people that these tests do not prove to be a crucial part of college admissions. As an individual who opted to be test-optional, not submitting my score did not hinder my ability to get accepted into my top choice school, nor did it for other students here at SHS. We have had numerous ivy league and prestigious school acceptances, a good portion of them being from test optional students with strong GPAs and great intelligence. At American University, it was stated that of the 1,700 accepted, only 50% of these people submitted their test scores. This shows that not submitting a score to a school does not prevent people from getting accepted. This, in turn, makes these tests lose a sense of credibility. 

Additionally, from a real world standpoint, rarely any of the knowledge used in these tests is applied to everyday use. Life is about the existence of real world problems, and the abilities of which people go about solving them. Test taking abilities will not benefit people in this sense. Some of the brightest people may be bad at test taking, and vice versa. For example, former Vice President Al Gore finished at the bottom of his class at Vanderbilt with Cs and Ds, and still proved to be successful. Albert Einstein even dropped out of school at 15, and then he became a genius. This demonstrates how these test grades do not truly display a student’s true measure of intelligence, which is why colleges ask for an entire resume, not just test scores. Thus, exhibiting the fact that these tests are not a good measure of one’s future success.

Bowdoin College stressed that they “value all parts of the application, the transcript, the applicant’s values and contributions to his school and community, and what people have to say about the applicant, most of which are much more important than just the number.” Depicting again that test scores are not a crucial part of applications. Moreover, a VP of admissions for Rhodes college, Carey Thompson, states that this college, in the first round, reads all applications without looking at test scores, in order to filter the most qualified applicants. Then, at the end, they will look at test scores if they have to. This approach gives an outlook that exemplifies the fact that test scores do not go into making a person’s whole application.

While SAT and ACT scores were once considered important, times have changed and have proven that success cannot be measured merely by a test score.