Guest blogger, Amy Zero, Senior Assistant Director of Admissions at Augustana shares (literally) inside scoop about the jungle that is standardized testing in the college search.
Yep, that’s me– the big one in the middle. Or, at least I felt like it on April 13…
For all current and future students in graduate-level education programs, the State of Illinois recently passed a law requiring all of us to pass either the Test of Academic Proficiency (formerly the Basic Skills Test), ACT or SAT in order to earn our degrees.
The fact that I’ve taken the ACT in high school, the MCAT in college, and the GRE shortly after that is irrelevant. So, to save $250, I registered myself for the April ACT with writing. No folks, that “writing” part did not exist for the OLCHS Class of 2002 (shout out to my fellow Spartans). And of course, everyone I mention this to laughs and laughs! The next comment is, without fail, “There’s no way you’ll get the scores you got in high school.” No kidding!
Regardless, I sharpened my #2 pencils, printed out my registration ticket, and marched into Mountain Vista High School on Saturday, April 13.
Taking this test made me realize a lot. I am 12 years older than the other students in my testing room. It’s been 11 years since I took math classes dealing the mnemonic SOHCAHTOA. I’m sure many of you are reading this now and criticizing my vocabulary and improper use of commas. Thank goodness my reading skills have improved with and since college.
My advice is this– yes, the ACT and SAT are important steps in your high school careers and college searches. But PLEASE remember that it’s not the only step! Especially at schools like Augie, we want to know who you are and what you can do, not how you fit into ACT and GPA percentiles.We’ve offered test-optional admission for years, and now I remember why: This test is not going to determine how well I perform in my graduate program, nor dictate my success as a higher education professional.
What I gained from this experience (beyond a checkmark for a state-mandated requirement) is that I am more than a percentile. Ultimately, the effort I put into my education is going to determine how successful a professional I am in the future.
PS – I know you are all wondering… Yes, I passed