Test Scores Play a Large Role in College
Taking Standardized Tests
Throughout the course of each student’s primary and secondary education, he or she is evaluated by standard tests. Reading and math placement tests are common grade school tools, helping educators place students in the proper scholastic groups, and exposing them to learning materials that are on-par with their abilities. I.Q. tests, or variations thereof, are administered similarly, to give baseline indications about each student’s aptitude and ability.
As students work beyond secondary education, into roles at colleges, universities, technical schools and other institutions of higher learning, test-taking continues, and for much the same reason. Placement in foreign language, mathematics and other college courses requires proficiency in certain areas, which is often illustrated by test performance. Admissions into colleges, and individual academic departments, is also facilitated by standardized tests, which gauge each applicants likelihood of succeeding on campus.
To make it easier for colleges to compare student performance, two major tests have been adopted for admissions standards. Results are used by campus officials, as well as financial aid administrators, to assign relative values to each student’s performance, and award scholarships and other campus aid.
The ACT and SAT provide the standard for admissions testing, each with its own scoring protocol. The tests are both accepted at some schools, but others demonstrate a preference, requiring students to submit one, or the other.
Undergraduate Admissions Testing
Registering for the ACT is accomplished online, and the test are conducted regionally, according to pre-published schedules that allow students to plan ahead. The testing service provides advanced test-preparation courses and materials, which facilitate higher scores for test-takers. the cost of taking the ACT currently runs between thirty and fifty dollars, depending on which test options are selected.
Scholarship administrators commonly use high school transcripts and standardized test scores together, to determine financial aid applicants’ eligibility and academic standing. Class rank is also considered by some scholarship committees, who require candidates to finish in the top quarter or third of their graduating classes.
The other test required by admissions and financial aid departments is the SAT. SAT scores serve the same functions as those sc0res earned taking ACT tests, and are frequently referenced on scholarship and admissions applications. Individual campuses carry unique deadlines and filing requirements, so consult college officials for SAT submission protocols. SAT registration is available online, as well as published calendars of regional test dates.
Students that continue into advanced education are subject to myriad tests relating to their specific academic pursuits. Those seeking entance to law school must first complete Law School Admissions Testing (LSAT) conducted by the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC). Would-be doctors are required to engage in standardized testing as preparation for medical school. Medical School Admissions Tests (MCAT), provide standardized entry-points for medical studies in all specialties. Additional testing applies, at the discretion of program administrators and project managers.
Standardized testing is used to establish proficiency for students with foreign language aspirations. By demonstrating mastery, students are able to advance into higher-level courses, earning college credits as they do. Additionally, there are tests in-place to help non-native English-speakers evaluate their skills speaking and using English.
Colleges and universities often require applicants to illustrate English language competency by providing acceptable results from a standardized test called the Test of English as a Foreign Language, or TOEFL.