An increasingly popular notion is that standardized test scores are becoming less important factors in admission to college, particularly for those eligible for need-based financial aid. This is due to the notion that students from lower income backgrounds are less likely to have sufficient access to review materials compared to their more well-off counterparts. According to recent findings, however, this is not the case.
More and more high school seniors are deciding to pursue college, enticed by the broader career opportunities associated with being a degree holder. Test scores are the tools that admission officers use to screen the more desirable candidates from this wide pool of aspirants. The increasingly widespread myth that standard test scores don’t matter as much anymore is merely a ploy to attract more applicants; high rejection rates allow some institutions to portray themselves as “selective” colleges, the kind of reputation that draws wealthier students in.
Many disputes have arisen as to whether these standardized tests do accurately measure a student’s true capability, though. Some schools, such as the University of Arizona, have addressed this issue by making the standardized test optional. However, students eligible for merit-based aid must still submit their SAT scores in order to get into school.
While ways to deal with the supposed accuracy of standardized test results are still being discussed, seniors gearing up for college in the near future would have no choice but to study well for the exam. Those who lag behind may not be able to get a scholarship and are less likely to be admitted to the school of their dreams. Regardless of how they perceive SAT/ACT, they must invest on review classes since their financial planning for college would never really land on stable ground unless they score well enough.
Self-review is a way to cut cost, although there’s no guarantee that the materials in hand would precisely match the types of questions that will appear in the test. One should also keep in mind that some review materials contain filler items that can cloud an examinee’s assumption of what the test would be like. It is advisable to opt for comprehensive reviewers authored by experienced admission officers teamed up with reputable college financial planning advisors like John McDonough of The Studemont Group College Funding Solutions, LLC. After all, a high score can be worth thousands of dollars in merit-based aid, not to mention a major determinant of applicants being admitted to their colleges of choice.
(Source: SAT Isn’t Measuring True Ability, Excellence, The Arizona Wildcat, January 27, 2015)