Kernel Opinions Sig

After the college admissions scandal broke in March involving celebrities and wealthy adults paying their children’s way into elite colleges, college admissions standards were brought up by many again: Should colleges rely so heavily on ACT/SAT scores?

This scandal involved parents who would claim their child had learning disabilities, allowing multiple days to take the test, or parents would pay stand-ins to take their children’s tests for them. Why were those students accepted? Money paid to colleges by parents was the reason the ACT/SAT score changed, but acceptance to the college was ultimately due to the test score itself.

College admissions forming decisions largely around ACT/SAT scores should be over.

When it comes down to it, the ACT/SAT is only one test that determines so much– your college acceptance, your future– one test. So, why do colleges focus on the score of a single test rather than placing their focus mostly on a student’s GPA, which is over a longer period of time and measures a student’s ability thoroughly? Or what about community service, leadership positions or critical thinking skills?

I remember my time in high school, where a lot of lessons were shortened or skipped due to an accumulation of snow days and the inability to make up for all the time lost despite adding days on to the end of the school year. I remember my geometry teacher saying that there are “probably” only one or two questions on this particular lesson, so “we’ll just skip it.”

After my teacher said this, I knew that even if there were only two questions, I would answer those wrong because I was not taught the lesson. Turns out, the ACT had more than just the “one or two questions.”

Students who can show that they can keep up a GPA, while adding on leadership positions, extracurriculars or community service show more about who a student is and their abilities than one single test ever could. More measurements of a students’ ability exist, so the time for college admissions based on ACT/SAT scores should be over.