Traditional exams cause unnecessary stress

Shivani Bhatnagar, Feature Editor

[vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]TAKS. STAAR. EOC. UIL. GPA. PSAT. ACT. SAT. AP. TOEFL. GRE. CLEP.

Never-ending jumbles of letters and acronyms seem to make up and ultimately determine our current lives as students and future lives as well. We spend years devoted to these exams, living by their standards and rules and expectations. Thousands of dollars and hours are put in to doing well on these exams, named and made by councils of adults who probably don’t even understand how difficult they’re making our lives.

Alas these tests are given more importance than they deserve, both by students and by colleges. By the time we reach high school, our education and efforts are automatically geared toward higher education, and accomplishing that goal is near to impossible without sufficient scores. With all of the clubs we join, the resume spots we fill and grades we strive to earn, it’s almost as if we live to please colleges.

However we as students should not feel the need to prove our worth to colleges and universities through mere test scores and statistics. It shouldn’t be considered such an integral part of the college admissions process that students dish out thousands of dollars for test prep.

Instead of spending so much time and effort to making the “right” SAT or ACT score, we need more emphasis on actually learning and understanding our course materials and information. After all, those test scores may be emphasized greatly in the college admissions process, but those numbers do not determine our worth as people.

In fact, often times these tests are not even accurate representations of intelligence. Of course, getting a high score is no easy feat, but it has less to do with knowledge and more to do with test-taking skills. Those who have succeeded in performing well deserve to feel proud for their accomplishment, but I highly doubt that these test scores will hold much weight past the inital college admissions. After we graduate, no one will care what our SAT or ACT scores were, and it’s foolish to expect anything different than that.

If students wish to effectively prove their intellect and determination to colleges, they should take AP level classes, which require students to understand, analyze, and think critically. Passing AP exams necessitate more than merely knowing “how to take the test.”

While these admissions requirements are well intentioned, there comes a point where diligent work ethic is replaced by an obsession to “pass” these tests. The process overall is ruthlessly demanding, but it can become more bearable and even more meaningful if we learn to embrace the joy of gaining and understanding knowledge.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]