It's Time to Get Rid of Standardized Tests Essay - High School juniors and seniors are frequently asked what they plan to do for their college education. While discussing their future in college, many relevant topics come into the conversation. One may talk about their grades and classes, paying for school, and their test scores. (SAT essays are scored by two graders who each rate your essay on a scale of in Reading, Analysis, and Writing; the two graders' scores are added together to get scores out of 8 for each domain.) Below, we've excerpted the criteria for a 3 and a 4 in all three domains and described the differences between the 3 and 4 score levels for Reading, Analysis, and Writing. The SAT essay requires students to use a passage as the basis for a well-written and well-thought out argument. Two readers read and score each student's essay. Essays are scored based on three categories: Reading, Analysis, and Writing. By Jonathan Lash, President, Hampshire College. You won’t find our college in the U.S. News & World Report “Best Colleges” rankings released this month. Last year Hampshire College decided not to accept SAT/ACT test scores from high school applicants seeking admission.
- SAT Scoring - How SAT Test Scoring Works
- 5 Reasons We Should Eliminate the SAT
- Results of Removing Standardized Test Scores from College Admissions
That got us kicked off the rankings, disqualified us, per U. If we reduce education to the outcomes of a test, the only incentive for schools and students to innovate is in the form of improving test-taking and scores. Teaching to a test becomes stifling for teachers and students, far from the inspiring, adaptive education which most benefits students.
Our greatly accelerating world needs graduates who are trained to address tough situations with innovation, ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and a capacity for mobilizing collaboration and cooperation.
SAT Scoring - How SAT Test Scoring Works
We weighed other factors in our decision: And yes, we look closely at high school academic records, though in an unconventional manner. We look for an overarching narrative that shows motivation, discipline, and the capacity for self-reflection.
Another student may have overcome obstacles through determination, demonstrating promise of success in a demanding program. Strong high school graduates demonstrate purpose, a passion for authenticity, and commitment to positive change.
Not once did we sit in an Admissions committee meeting and "wish we had a test score. Their academic record over four years, letters of recommendation, essays, in-person interviews, and the optional creative supplements gave us a more complete portrait than we had seen before. Applicants gave more attention to their applications including the optional components, putting us in a much better position to predict their likelihood of success here.
5 Reasons We Should Eliminate the SAT
This move away from test scores and disqualification from the U. News rankings has allowed us to innovate in ways we could not before. In other words, we are free to innovate rather than compromise our mission to satisfy rankings criteria: We no longer chase volumes of applications to superficially inflate our "selectivity" and game the U. Instead we choose quality over quantity and focus attention and resources on each applicant and their full portfolio.
What does our unique academic program look like and what qualities does a student need to be successful at it?
Having a smaller but more targeted, engaged, passionate, and robust applicant pool, we are able to streamline our resources. Tests and rankings incentivize schools to conform to test performance and rankings criteria, at the expense of mission and innovation.
Our shift to a mission-driven approach to admissions is right for Hampshire College and the right thing to do. We fail students if we reduce them to a standardized test number tied more to their financial status than achievement. We fail students by perpetuating the myth that high standardized test scores signal "better" students. We are in the top one percent of colleges nationwide in the percentage of our undergraduate alumni who go on to earn advanced degrees—this on the strength of an education where we assess their capabilities narratively, and where we never, not once, subject them to a numerical or letter grade on a test or course.
At Hampshire College, we face the same financial challenges as many colleges.
Results of Removing Standardized Test Scores from College Admissions
But these challenges provide an opportunity to think about who we are and what matters to us. We can not lose sight of our mission while seeking revenues or chasing rankings.
We are committed to remaining disqualified from the U.