Make standardized tests actually useful
Sitting in front of a screen mentally preparing for the next several hours of rigorous mental exercise is daunting. However, this mental exertion potentially has a lasting effect on your professional future.
Not only do people voluntarily sign up for these tests but are forced to pay hundreds of dollars for this additional stress. The GRE, MCAT, LSAT, and similar tests are the professional school comparison to the SAT or ACT.
A general consensus of college officials is that these standardized tests, like GRE, MCAT and LSAT, will reflect your learning aptitude. Are these tests a true measurement of aptitude or could these tests be increasing the socio-economic divide?
Personal test scores have an influence on acceptance into professional programs. For higher odds of acceptance into top schools one needs a higher score. To improve scores, companies offer courses and workbooks. Courses with more positive results can cost students thousands of dollars, not including registration fees for the test. For students already strapped with educational loans, paying for extra courses is a ludicrous idea. If potential professional-school students are unable to find the funds for these tests, the socio-economic divide grows because of the lack of higher education.
Another question is do these tests accurately predict potential professional school success or just your ability to test well?
The Education Testing service, ETS, states, “The GRE General Test measures your verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking and analytical writing skills—skills that have been developed over a long period of time and are not related to a specific field of study but are important for all.”
Portions of the quantitative reasoning require the use of symbolic math. Some symbolic math equations use random symbols like hearts or clubs to figure out a problem.
Even though ETS states the tests “are not related to a specific field of study” many professionals will not use symbolic math equations in their professions.
Institutions like ETS should re-evaluate their exam to determine if tests like the GRE truly encompass the needs of their consumers.