UConn knows that standardized assessments don’t completely attest to incoming students’ true abilities

What’s a Test Score Worth? Are any standardized tests really useful? Livia Gershon, February 19, 2015

Standardized assessments have been a critical staple of pre-college students’ academic repertoires. As with any typical office occupation, test-takers must complete paperwork, weighing multiple options and making tough decisions under a strict time limit. Despite the decreased emphasis upon standardized testing performance nationally, UConn opts to maintain its importance throughout the undergraduate admissions process, weighing it equally to other application components. UConn’s high consideration of standardized assessment scores, which remain somewhat indicative of students’ likelihood to succeed in the real world, alongside other, arguably more vital factors when admitting students is commendable.

Unquestionably, standardized test performance provides some insight into students’ academic abilities and other critical skills. After all, universities need a barometer for students’ preparedness and ability to perform under pressure. Basic abilities like reading comprehension, mathematical calculation, and writing are the tenets that any capable adult should deploy from their arsenals. High grades and test scores correlate somewhat to future academic, occupational, and social success, but truly the personal traits (e.g. conscientiousness, levelheadedness, open-mindedness, etc.) that one must possess in order to achieve academic greatness provide an even better indication of students’ potential.

While the conclusions that universities derive from standardized test performance are informative to an extent, they do not definitively outline any given student’s real-life prospects. Much like a sports hall of fame voting committee, UConn’s undergraduate admissions department considers both statistics and intangibles when evaluating each candidate’s prestigious merit. According to Stephanie Reitz of UConn Communications, “UConn admits students based on a holistic approach which includes grade point average, class rank, SAT or ACT score, required essay, extracurricular activities and optional letters of recommendation. While the SAT or ACT score is an important factor to consider, it’s not the only one that UConn reviews”. Considering the socioeconomic barriers that standardized tests present, it is imperative that UConn allows applicants to venture toward other avenues of success and remains committed to admitting diverse student classes. UConn should also continue factoring extenuating circumstances and extracurricular accomplishments into the equation for student acceptance, for book smarts alone do not translate to real-life success.

Ultimately, UConn’s significant, yet somewhat lessened consideration of standardized test results is ideal. UConn must give its applicants a fair opportunity to illustrate their worth, and incoming UConn students should exhibit not only intellectual prowess that they can apply to the classroom, but also distinctive attributes that prove beneficial in the outside world.

Michael Katz is a contributor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email michael.katz@uconn.edu.