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The Dreaded Test

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For juniors, the college season is quickly approaching. Most are probably gathering college information and studying for those crucial standardized tests.
Standardized tests: those are two words that will send a shiver down any high school student’s spine. Is this so called “most important test you’ll ever take” really that important? Have college admissions officers been lying to us all along?

Washington University’s Director of Admissions: Nanette Tarbouni, “Standardized testing is a part of any application, and part of the consideration that goes into making an admissions decision,” she added “The most important factor in any admission decision is the academic component, as reflected by the transcript.”

However, officials at William Jewell College, transcript and test scores are weighted equally. Dean of Admissions: Bridget Gramling said, “It is possible for a test score to be too low for admission here, no matter how good the grades.”

University of Notre Dame’s admission counselor Catherine Linn says they accept students on an individual basis. She added, ”We don't have any cut-offs academically, so we review every part of every application looking for compelling reasons to admit one student over so many others.”

Standardized tests are one of the only admissions criteria at most public universities according to Mizzou’s Coordinator of Regional Recrutment. Schools such as University of Kansas and the University of Missouri-Columbia consider test scores to be “a significant part of the application” Hollembeak added. Grade point average and class rank are also important factors in admissions to state colleges. Extra-Curricular involvement, however, is not considered in admissions at Mizzou. Missouri State University in Springfield cares more about GPA and class rank than standardized tests. Admissions counselor: Lana Kelly says, “If a student has a GPA above a 3.5 or has a class rank in the top 25% of their class, the score that they received on their ACT/SAT would not matter.”

So, standardized tests are of huge importance at most universities, but are there any schools that don’t require test scores at all?
Good question. Of course there are. There are actually close to 800 colleges that disregard standardized testing all together. Kansas State University, Benedictine College, Washburn University, Missouri Southern State University, and Missouri Western State College are just a few of the 755 colleges who do not use standardized tests in admissions. K-State admissions representatives’ say as along as your GPA is above 2.0, you’re good to go.

Many schools, such as University of Notre Dame, will review any applicant, regardless of test score. However, if you are looking for a school that focuses more on you than on a two-digit number, check out one of the schools listed above. Maybe you’ll find your perfect school.



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