Imagine: You head over to a friend’s house to help them with their landscaping project. You are greeted by a friend covered in mulch, dirt, and random pieces of weeds. She asks you to move her car from the driveway so the mulch truck can pull in. You happily grab her keys and get in the car, only to realize you cannot move her car. Sure, it has a steering wheel, the key fits the ignition, there is a brake pedal and gas pedal— but there is also a clutch, and you have never driven a stick shift!!
Even though you have driven for years and are a good driver, you cannot perform the simple task of backing out of the driveway and parking in the street because you have not been taught how to successfully manage the transmission yourself.
This is exactly why good students are not automatically successful on standardized tests: they have not been taught the strategies, tricks, or time management needed to crush the test!
Standardized tests intentionally bait...
There are many reasons that colleges prefer to see a standardized test. One reason is that the curriculum in each high school, and certainly each state varies. When you consider the resources some students have because of their school district versus the lack in others, it is easy to conclude that the level of exposure/mastery a student in a struggling district has when earning an A may be vastly different than a student who earns an A in a district rich with resources like 3D printers, computers for every student, large designated laboratories for science classes and so forth.
Colleges are all too familiar with students who have received generous grades due to being well liked, a star athlete, a star student who is popular, who are not prepared to handle rigorous classes in college. If you have heard your son or daughter mention that the teacher is giving students more time to finish the test because some did not, or someone is able to...
This is something we hear a lot from parents. They worry a lot about standardized tests because their kid isn’t a great test taker, even though their grades may be great. Kelly says bad test takers are really our own fault.
Currently, our school system is set up to rigorously test students throughout the year. Students are expected to recall the information from certain chapters or topics on a test. However, standardized tests aren’t built like this, they’re built around problem-solving.
Here’s a great example that shows how this testing method is problematic. There’re third-grade level math questions on the ACT, and what we often see happen is students try to attach some complex formula they learned in high school to that problem. They try to recall their information rather than problem solve.
Standardized testing is a skill that is vital...