Many students and families rail against the importance of the SAT and the ACT as part of the college admissions process. They lament the stress the entrance exam process causes them and the disconnect between what is tested on the exam and what students learn in the classroom.
Yes, the SAT and ACT cover different concepts than most students learn in their high school math and English classes. Yes, the tests feature intense time pressures and include multiple-choice formats that may not be the norm for most students.
So why do admissions officers rely on them as part of the admissions process?
Because the SAT and ACT provide an invaluable measure of how students are likely to perform in college and beyond.
The SAT and ACT measure how well a student is able to learn a new set of material and apply it to the accompanying questions in a short amount of time. Your child may not have previously interpreted a temperature distribution graph in their high school science classes, for example, but figuring out how to answer the question correctly, even if it seems like it is “written in Greek”, is a life skill.
Encourage your children to treat the SAT and ACT as a challenge that can be overcome. Developing the discipline to learn the material and identify resources that can help them obtain their target score will serve them well for future challenges. Admissions officers are seeking the next generation of problem solvers for their incoming class.
The SAT or ACT may pose a problem at first, but it can definitely be solved through effective prep. The Wall Street Journal recently published a fantastic article that highlights the role testing plays in this process. To access it click here.
Wishing your child success in the test prep process. May the experience of obtaining a target score provide guidance for future frustrating challenges that can be overcome with strategy and determination.