Friday, July 19, 2019

Standardized Test Scores and Their Use in College Admissions Decisions

Standardized Test Scores and their use in College Admissions Decisions PURPOSE The purpose of this proposal is to examine current and future Iowa State University admissions decisions processes. At the present time most colleges, including Iowa State use a combination of standardized test scores, high school class rank, high school grade point average, and essays to make decisions on admissions. All of the above are good determinants of a student’s possible success in college, except standardized test scores. Standardized tests discriminate against minorities and are not a good overall indicator of a student’s potential. For these reasons and others, Iowa State should not use standardized test scores when making admissions decisions. BACKGROUND Since America’s college system began, someone has had the responsibility of deciding who gets into a college and who does not. Colleges and universities must draw the line somewhere as to who has the opportunity to become more educated and who gets a full-time job at McDonald’s. This decision-making process has always been a difficult job and has become even more difficult in recent years as competition in higher education gets tougher. College admissions departments have come up with a system which combines indicators such as standardized test scores, high school class rank, grade point average, and essays. Different schools put different amounts of emphasis on these gauges but most use some mixture of them. In recent years many schools have begun to put more emphasis on standardized test scores. Almost all college bound students now take entrance exams like the ACT or SAT. These tests supposedly indicate how "smart" a student is and how successful they would be in colle... ...f schools, ranging from small liberal arts colleges to large public universities, have made the switch. Most report many benefits with "no drop-off in the academic quality of their applicants" (FairTest). Colleges and universities could make this decision for themselves or the change could come thorough a statewide policy. For example in Texas, starting in 1998, students applying to public universities who were in the top 10 percent of their graduating high school class, do not have to take the ACT or SAT (State Colleges). A policy such as this is another example of a possible way to emphasize high school achievement rather than test scores. The no standardized test policy should be implemented at Iowa State University as soon as possible. Beginning with the incoming freshman class of 2001, standardized tests should not be used as a tool in admissions decisions.

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