Alternate Admission

Colleges state wide are changing their standards and going test-optional.

Priscila Mondragon, Broadcast Editor

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The average high school student spends four to seven hours a week preparing for standardized tests like the ACT just to get into college. What if students didn’t have to dread the whole process of studying and waiting for their results? Universities and colleges are beginning to change their admissions to being test-optional. In the United States alone, there are more than 900 colleges who use this standard. When a college goes test-optional, it means that students who apply can decide if they would like to submit standardized test scores with their college application. 

Priscila Mondragon
This is the board that is in NPHS commons. Showing all the students scores who had a result of 27 and above this year.

Students spend hours preparing and practicing for the ACT. They even spend money getting tutors to help improve their scores, but not all can afford that. Having the opportunity to take classes and having a tutor improves your chances of getting a higher score on the ACT. There are people who take the test without any other practice outside of school due to their current financial situation. Colleges only accept certain students based on their ACT score, and those who didn’t do well get turned down based on circumstances that were out of their control. 

Having the skill to take a test is an ability that not all possess, but is required to do well on the ACT. Standardized tests like the SAT and ACT can just be the result of how well a student can take a test not how knowledgeable or skilled a student is. College is supposed to educate you and help you grow and students are getting rejected because they have test anxiety.

 Although there is a lot of pressure for students to do well on standardized tests, they’re not always an accurate representation of that person. “Some students have the ability to excel but can’t represent that on a test,” said NPHS counselor Brianna Quiroz.

First year students only have to submit their test scores if they believe they are an accurate representation of their skills”

— Abby Maresh

This year, Creighton University in Omaha is not requiring the SAT or ACT.  Creighton admissions communicator Abby Maresh said that first year students only have to submit their test scores if they believe they are an accurate representation of their skills. 

Instead of standardized tests, some colleges are requiring placement tests to measure academic abilities. Central Community College is one of these. “Students will take a placement test which will show what a student needs to improve on or what a student is already knowledgeable in,” said Central Community College admission communicator Scott Miller.

However, the placement test is not a deciding factor in the admissions process. Students are only required to take it after they commit to that school. I think placement tests are a good idea to help students understand which areas they should apply themselves more in. Helping students get into college as long as they apply themselves. 

Many students tend to not go to college because they believe they’re not smart enough or not good enough test takers. When getting into a college, a test is not the only thing that helps with admission. This new criteria standard can push more students to further their education.Test-optional admissions allow a student to apply for a college with the hopes of getting accepted using their skills and knowledge. 

Priscila Mondragon
Junior Gage Miller practices with online prep for the ACT. NPHS juniors will be taking the ACT in March.

Standardized tests like the SAT and ACT can just be the result of how well a student can take a test not how knowledgeable or skilled a student is, making me reason to the conclusion that colleges should be test optional to help students develop their education versus never having the opportunity.