The University Of Chicago Made The ACT/SAT Optional. All Schools Should Follow Suit

The University Of Chicago Made The ACT/SAT Optional. All Schools Should Follow Suit

The ACT/SAT are just another set of standardized tests that do not prove much in the way of future success.

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EVERY high school student has concerned themselves over this at some time (well, many students, at least). The dreaded ACT and its equally ominous rival, the SAT. They both scare students to the point where they can become thought consuming. They both can affect which college you can go to, along with your GPA. For some schools, the ACT/SAT are more of an option now, but this was reserved for smaller schools. However, there has been a change; the University of Chicago, one of America's powerhouses, have also made the switch over to making these two standardized tests optional. This is big; UC is one of America's best universities making the alteration. This was far overdo; the ACT does not provide anywhere near as much value as people may think.

The ACT/SAT are tests essentially required to get into universities. Usually, the biggest schools possess high average ACT scores; Harvard had an ACT range of 32-35, for example. One bad day can drastically decrease the chances of you getting to attend a larger school. Now, I am a believer that undergraduate institutions are contingent on fit, but there are so many great schools that will balk at the suggestion of taking anyone with a below average ACT/SAT score, despite possessing a great GPA and extracurriculars. This can also apply to more impoverished communities as well.

The ACT/SAT require some preparation, preparation which can be more easily acquired in better, more propped up school districts. For kids in the most impoverished districts in the country? Despite being intelligent? This does not help. Now, are there great success stories? Definitely. College applications rely on more than the ACT, but the ACT makes up a significant portion of college applications. It does not help anyone when this single test can help define your entire college future. This is not even addressing how these tests predict little about your future.

These tests have little value in predicting future success. High cumulative scores and low cumulative scores seem to make about half a percentage point of difference in terms of college GPA. There was a higher correlation between high school GPA, rather than the cumulative ACT score. Certain sections of the ACT had more predictive power, such as English and Math, but not overall. How helpful is the ACT or SAT, then? How is it something beneficial to have when most studies have not shown them to predict much in the way of college success.

I hope to see this trend continue in the future. Sure, some standardized tests can be beneficial (the MCAT and LSAT, in particular, are very important), but where is the benefit here? Where there is no need for a test, there should not be one. University of Chicago becomes one of the first heavy hitters of academia to do away with an antiquated measure of college aptitude. I hope they will not be the last, and that students will be given other avenues to prove their value to institutions. A college kid can dream of a world where all this test does is prove you can simply take the test.

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Yes, I Want To Be A Teacher

"You know you don't make that much money, right?"
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Yes, I want to be a teacher. Yes, I know what the salary of a teacher is like. Yes, I know that people will view my future career as “easy.” No, I would not want any other job in the world.

I am sure that I am not the only future educator who has had enough with hearing all the critiques about becoming a teacher; we are tired of hearing all the negative aspects because it’s obvious that the positives will ALWAYS outweigh those judgemental negative comments.

So, why do I want to be a teacher? I am sure that I speak for many other future teachers when I say that I am not doing it for the salary, benefits, or even the summer vacation (although that is a great plus!).

I want to be a teacher because I will be able to wake up on Mondays and actually be excited. Saturday and Sunday will be a nice break to relax, but I know that I will be ready to fill up my apple-shaped mug with coffee on Monday morning and be ready for a day full of laughs and new lessons for my students for the upcoming week.

I want to be a teacher because I get to have an impact on tomorrow's leaders. No, I don’t mean that I’m predicting my future student to be the president of the United States (but, hey, that would be a pretty cool accomplishment). I mean that I have the job to help students recognize that they have the power to be a leader in and out of the classroom.

I want to be a teacher because I don’t want an easy day. Challenges are what push me to greatness and success. Although many people think teaching is an easy profession, I know that it isn’t easy. It’s very hard, every day at every moment. But it is worth it when a student finally understands that math problem that stumped them for awhile and they have a huge smile from ear to ear.

I want to be a teacher because I want to work with kids. I mean, come on, what else is greater than a kid having fun and you’re the reason why? A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a child being excited and having fun while learning is worth a million.

I want to be a teacher because I don’t want a high salary. If I really cared about making a six-figure income, I would have chosen a different profession. Teaching is not about the check that I bring home every week or two, it’s about what I learn and the memories that I make; the memories that I get to share with my family at dinner that night.

SEE ALSO: To The Teacher Who Helped Shape Me

I want to be a teacher because there is nothing else in this world that I’d rather do for the rest of my life. Sure, there may be other jobs that are rewarding in more ways. But to me, nothing can compare to the view of a classroom with little feet swinging back and forth under a desk from a student learning how to write their ABCs.

Teaching may not be seen as the perfect profession for everyone, but it is the perfect profession for me.

Cover Image Credit: TeacherPop

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