Take Those Admissions Tests
During a year in which the vast majority of our nation’s highly selective colleges have gone test-optional, it likely doesn’t surprise any of our readers to know that we urge applicants to submit test scores anyway. This is the case unless of course a university forbids the submission of certain scores — as Yale University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have done this year with SAT Subject Tests (although not with the ACT or SAT). To keep things simple, we’ll even give the year in admissions a tagline. Here goes: Test-Optional? That’s cute. We’ll say it until we’re blue in the face. Take those darn tests. Submit those great test scores. All else being equal, an applicant with great scores will always win out over an applicant with no scores. And, yes, that’s in spite of what all those admissions officers at America’s elite universities told you to the contrary. Oh you believed them? That’s cute.
Drive to Montana to Take Your SAT, ACT, or SAT Subject Tests
We get that it’s tough to take some of these tests these days. We get that College Board and ACT have canceled a whole lot of exams. We get that so many test centers have been shuttered. Yet there are students who are taking the SAT, ACT, and SAT Subject Tests. It’s happening. We’ve seen it firsthand and these students will be your competition. So why would you choose to throw your hands up in the air and exclaim that you give up, that you just won’t be submitting scores. Don’t give up. If test centers are closed near you, go on the great American road trip. Head to Nebraska. Or Iowa, South Dakota, or Montana. Heck, we’ve been to all these states in recent days. Note, in South Dakota, we encountered a whole lot of folks who didn’t wear masks and in Nebraska, Iowa, and Montana, we encountered a whole lot of folks who did. Do better, South Dakota!
Find Inspiration in the Tale of an Bar Exam Test-Taker
Our point is, you can still take these tests. So grab two No. 2 pencils, an N95 mask, two gloves, and your calculator and hit the road. Need some inspiration? Look no further than Brianna Hill, a law school graduate who went into labor during the administration of her Bar Exam — and managed to complete the test later. As Heather Murphy reports for The New York Times in a piece entitled “She Was Going Into Labor. But She Had a Bar Exam to Finish.,” “When Brianna Hill, a recent law school graduate in Chicago, felt what she thought might be her water breaking as she took the bar exam in her home office on Oct. 5, she did not leave her chair. She knew that if she moved outside the vision of the artificial intelligence proctor, she could be disqualified. That would mean having to wait until February to take an exam she had spent four months studying for. Instead, she continued writing a legal argument, and she went to a hospital only after she had completed the two sections administered on the first day of the two-day online exam. On Oct. 6, less than 24 hours after giving birth to a son, she finished the final sections at a table attached to a hospital bed.”
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Driving hundreds of miles (with all the associated fatigue and stress) to take a 3-hour standardized admissions test with the hopes of increasing your odds of enrolling in an Ivy school simply perpetuates the myth that an Ivy diploma is the holy grail of college admissions. What about the mental scars on those kids who jumped through all the hoops and got rejected?
Why is it that so many Ivy grads –except, for the most part, those in engineering and computer science– can’t find suitable employment in today’s environment and end up becoming private admissions counselors at places like InGenius Prep (who cater to the privileged that can pay their lofty fees) and its ilk for a very average salary?
The sad truth is the supply of college grads–including Ivy types–greatly exceeds the demand in the marketplace. By some estimates, for every one million new college graduates, there are about 500K jobs that truly require a degree. Not to mention, lots of Ivy grads who majored in worthless subjects like psychology, history, gender studies, Medieval Art, and sociology have ended up where they left–in their bedrooms at mom and dad’s home.