You are more than just a score


Makenna Orrick, Feature Editor

Today’s youth is overwhelmed with significantly more academic pressures than we could ever imagine. 

Beginning in elementary school, many students experience extensive pressure on test performance, and many states require students to pass standardized tests in order to be qualified to move onto the next grade, or to get into a good college. 

This pressure can lead students to develop testing anxiety, a lack of self-confidence, and could also be detrimental to their academic performances later down the line. So why put so much pressure on standardized tests?

Standardized tests, like the SAT, the ACT or any others that measure all students at a certain educational level, are used to judge the abilities of a student. 

“There’s just so much pressure to get higher scores. Your ACT score means money, scholarships, opportunities. If your score isn’t high enough, and you don’t qualify for the scholarships you need, that could mean not going to the schools you want. There is so much anxiety involved in the whole process” states Rachel Johnson, a senior at Coffee County Central Highschool. 

 Many factors come into play when requiring such a draining test for higher education. While tests will give you an accurate score based solely on how many questions you got correct, you cannot judge someone’s intelligence through a multiple-choice test. 

On these tests, students must require or demonstrate some valuable knowledge or skill, like knowing how to add or substrate or understanding the causes and effects of the Civil War. It is entirely possible for students to fail tests on such topics and still have the mathematical abilities or historical knowledge to succeed in the real world. 

A score may not always accurately portray someone’s knowledge of a subject. People learn in countless different ways. Some are able to see an example and copy it, while others have to be hands-on to fully get the subject taught to them. 

Possessing the ability to comprehend what you are told and copy it helps you achieve a higher score on an ACT or SAT test, but for those who learn differently, their ACT scores don’t always reflect their intelligence. All students are different, from the way they learn to their test-taking abilities. 

Senior Landon Crabtree states, “ The ACT is one of the driving factors of my future. A good ACT score means better acceptance chances and better scholarship money, and that in turn sets me up for my future. Personally, there isn’t a lot of pressure on me. I took the ACT my sophomore year, so I know what to expect, but a lot of other seniors will be taking it for the first time, so I understand the pressure they may be feeling. I like to think I’m a good test taker, I got a 28 my sophomore year, so standardized tests are definitely something I understand how to take!”

At times students’ scores reflect entirely on the teacher’s ability to prepare and educate a classroom. Most students’ daily experiences in the classroom revolve around the end of the year tests and exams. 

Schools need to find a balance in mandating standardized tests and advising students to know that their intelligence and worth is not based on their score.

In no way am I saying testing is not important to keep students accountable for learning and prepared for higher education, but we should not stigmatize students for a disappointing and frustrating score. 

The stereotype of the higher the score the more intelligent you are is simply not true. While some work hard for the scores and grades they receive, others are able to cheat the system and get scores to be considered advanced without the hard work. 

A standardized test can measure a person’s grasp on math, history, health, or science. But can it measure how much potential you really have?