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College Testing: Taking Standardized Exams

Testing is part of every college application process, but schools use scores in different ways.

From undergraduate school to law school, no matter what type of college or university program you are applying to, odds are that college testing will be part of your college admission requirements. That’s why being prepared for college testing is an important part of college prep.

Read on for answers to some of the most common questions students have about college testing.

What’s the point of college testing?

As a type of standardized testing, college testing allows college admissions committees to get a general sense of a student’s capabilities. If it’s the TOEFL, for example, the student’s general ability to understand and communicate in English is tested. For tests like the GRE and SAT, the student’s general logic and vocabulary skills are tested.

Admissions tests for college examine a student’s skill in subjects that can’t always be evaluated based on the curriculum a student has on his or her student record.

College testing is also important because it is the single aspect of the application process where all students can be considered to be on a level playing field. Yes, every student is required to submit his GPA, but it’s far easier to get an A at some schools than it is at other schools.

How do colleges use your scores?

Depending on the type of test and the program, colleges place varying emphasis on college testing.

Some colleges may actually have a cut-off mark for admissions: students who do not achieve a certain score are simply not considered for admission.

For the TOEFL, for example, it’s imperative that students achieve a certain score. The TOEFL measures foreign students’ English language abilities. If the score is not sufficient, it will be extremely difficult for a student to study at a US college or university.

Also be aware that different schools will have different opinions on what constitutes an acceptable score. If you’re applying to elite colleges, your scores should be among the top in the country. Less high-profile schools will have less stringent requirements.

How important are your scores to colleges?

College testing is not the only thing schools look at when considering applicants!

YourGPA, statement of purpose, personal essay, and recommendation letter are all significant aspects of most college applications.

Some schools even look past sub-par college testing scores and admit students who have an overall strong record. If you don’t have the scores you want from your college testing, take the tests again and focus on making the rest of your application as strong as possible.