While standardized testing often receives a great deal of attention, it is important to know that test scores are just one of the many pieces that colleges consider during the application process. Many colleges
no longer require test scores, and they are several standardized test options available depending on a student’s strengths and interests. Moreover, the importance of scores varies from student to student, depending upon the other attributes that he or she possesses. Seldom are scores used to measure the intellectual abilities of an applicant.
That’s why we think it’s helpful to consider testing as a “necessary evil,” an obstacle to be surmounted on the path to a college, and certainly not as frightening or all-important as some wish to believe. There’s no question that, all other factors being equal, high scores can aid an applicant’s chances at most colleges, but it’s equally true that small score improvements, often the result of random variation or natural maturation, tend to have little impact on the final admissions decision.
We feel that a long-term, rational plan of preparation is best, one that determines which test serves a particular student best: the ACT, SAT, or going test optional. With the use of practice tests administered at Laguna Blanca, students can gain comfort with the process and reasonably maximize their potential by identifying underlying weakness and systematically addressing them.
Don’t overdo it! Colleges are increasingly wary of, and wearied by, over packaged students who have relentlessly tested and sought to gain an advantage. Moreover, it’s important to remember that the hours spent in testing and test preparation might be better spent, perhaps through enrichment experiences, such as art, music, volunteering or work. Don’t hesitate to reach out to Mrs. Murray
early in your Laguna career to discuss the issue and to develop a sensible, effective plan.