There is an overwhelming amount of work that needs to be completed in the college application process. Amidst the excitement of this time, most students look at standardized tests with dread. They consider testing and test prep to be extremely unpleasant interruptions to their life. If there were a way to get out if these exams, they would.
Standardized testing is not going away. If fact, with online education on the rise, test results will become even more significant in evaluating aptitude and achievement. With this in mind, it would benefit students to look at testing and test prep from a new perspective.
Why take Standardized Tests?
- To be accepted into the college of choice
- To earn Merit Aid (a significant discount to college) to the college of choice
Purpose #1: To be accepted into the college of choice
Getting in to college is only step one. Once a student gets in, the goal is to learn, grow and thrive there, graduate on time, and secure a job.
Skills required for college and life success overlap those required to succeed on standardized tests. Below are some of the components that are needed for testing, college and life success.
- Dedication to a goal
- Comfort with yourself and your learning style
- Motivation to succeed
- An organized structured plan
- A proper learning/study environment
- Academic ability
- Reasoning skills
Unfortunately, none of the components listed above lend themselves to a quick-fix or a magic formula. They require commitment, practice and time. Just like successful athletes, musicians, and artists put time into their craft, time needs to be put into test taking knowledge and skills.
Purpose #2: To Earn Merit Aid
In addition to opening doors to an outstanding education, standardized test results can earn the student and/or family a significant amount of money in Merit Aid. With Merit Aid rewards often given based upon test scores, it is as if the student is being paid to prepare for success.
Students, you are preparing for and taking standardized tests in preparation for your own future. If you are not ready to commit to preparing for standardized tests, there is a chance you may not yet be ready for college itself. Test prep is only an introduction to the study commitments you will face there.
Make the test a goal or a game that you are motivated to win. Don’t rush it – dedicate yourself to it. The skills you are learning in preparing for standardized tests are skills that are needed for college and life success. If you are truly not ready to commit to it, a post-graduate year or a gap year is a great option.
Future blog posts will go into more detail about standardized testing and the test prep services we offer at IESolutions. (SAT/ACT Diagnostic Exams, diagnostically scored retired SAT and ACT exams, customized tutoring in person and online.)
Sandy Aprahamian, Assistant Director, Informed Educational Solutions
The 10,000 Hour Rule, Forbes Magazine