Standardized test scores have been the staple of college admissions for decades in the United States. Recently though, there has been a revolution regarding standardized testing. Unfortunately, it’s not as fun as monarchs at the guillotine and burning manifestos, it’s one of those boring intellectual revolutions. Standardized testing has come under fire recently (put the torch down it’s just a turn of phrase) for multiple reasons. One of the primary arguments is that its scope is very narrow compared to what students actually should learn and that teachers actually teach for testing not for the sake of education. Well join the revolution countrywoman or man you don’t need SAT scores to get into a good school anymore!
Be a 10%-er
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Not to be confused with a 1%-er, which is an outlaw biker and probably not an extracurricular activity that colleges like to see. It isn’t quite fair when your friends and classmates were doing handstands while drinking cough medicine (or whatever high school students do now-a-days) as you were hunkered down studying. Not only have you dedicated most nights to diligently writing about the French Revolution, now you also have to take a test. What if you’re nervous and mess up? All your sacrifices and all those late nights of trigonometry will be flushed down the toilet. Worry not though as all that hard work and endless wedgies will be rewarded! There are many schools that currently offer high school students that are in the top 10% of their class automatic admission to their Universities. Unfortunately, most are state run schools and can only offer it to state residents. Regionalist bastards.
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Joining the revolution against the oppressive standardized testing regime are many Universities that have SAT optional admissions. This means that they will use your overall academic performance in High School and not the result of a nerve-racking 3 hours and 45 minutes of testing that you took while buzzing on caffeine. If you visit fairtest.org (The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, which is a watchdog agency for standardized testing) you will find a very comprehensive list of SAT optional Universities. So if you preferred to spend that 3 hours and 45 minutes reading Tolsoy in a café or playing a gig with your band Glitter-Finger-Gold (I just made that up, not bad, don’t you dare steal it) and you have good grades, you can opt for one of these institutions. You can find the list here.
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The butt of most academically themed jokes (which are not as funny as you’d think) community colleges bridge the gap between trade schools and Universities. Don’t expect to find Abed, Troy and Annie at your local Community college (C.C) but you just might find a sneaky way into the University of your choice. Many Universities allow you to transfer credits from a different institution to theirs. This is slightly riskier than normal admission but even a student with lower High School GPAs, if they do well in C.C. and have good grades, can transfer into a University of their choice. As long as the school of your choice accepts transfer credits and the C.C. you are attending is accredited. You can check and make sure using this list at http://ope.ed.gov/. You will have to be in frequent and close contact with both your advisor at the C.C. you’re attending and an admission officer at the Universities you would like to attend. Which is not as bad as you think; advisors usually have little bowls of mints or butterscotches on their desks and tons of motivational cat posters plastered all over their walls.
I know this is a lot to take in between your report on the natural resources of New Delhi and your Chemistry homework, but if you have anything to add feel free to do so in comment section below!