Think back to when you first applied for admission into college. What stressed you out the most? The number of essays you had to write? Whether or not your teachers could write you a great letter of recommendation? How were you going to pay for it? Most likely it was your test scores.
Do test scores really matter?
One school in Massachusetts doesn’t think so. Hampshire College has decided to stop accepting SAT/ACT scores and the results have been astounding. They found that:
- “Our yield, the percentage of students who accepted our invitation to enroll, rose in a single year from 18% to 26%, an amazing turnaround.
- The quantity of applications went down, but the quality went up, likely because we made it harder to apply, asking for more essays. Our applicants collectively were more motivated, mature, disciplined and consistent in their high school years than past applicants.
- Class diversity increased to 31% students of color, the most diverse in our history, up from 21% two years ago.
- The percentage of students who are the first-generation from their family to attend college rose from 10% to 18% in this year’s class.”
Read the full story from the Independent in the UK here.
Let’s expand on this from the graduate perspective. Does the GRE matter when applying to grad school? Did you take the GRE when you applied to grad school? I did and had to drive 6 hours to do so. At the time there was no option to take the GRE in Houghton, MI. My friends and I drove 6 hours to Madison, WI to take the test.
On their website, the Princeton Review tries to “debunk” common myths about the GRE. They state:
MYTH #1: GRE scores are not as important as your personal statement and your relationships with faculty members at prospective schools.
FACT: While the weight placed on your GRE score in relation to other factors (undergraduate GPA, letters of recommendation, relevant experience in your chosen field, etc.) will vary from program to program, poor GREs can seriously hurt your chances of admission. In addition, GRE scores are an important factor when it comes to awarding teaching and research assistantships and merit–based financial aid.
In light of the first article, do you think this is an accurate description? Does a poor GRE score really matter so much if your future advisor really wants to hire you?
Let us know your thoughts about these two articles in the comments.