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    Posted March 21, 2014 by
    Florence, Alabama
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    I'm more than my score

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    So Much More Than My Score


    Nearly every single college application asks the same basic questions. First and foremost among the most-asked questions is always “What are your scores?”. They’re asking for what you’ve made on the ACT or the SAT. Every college wants those standardized scores. What they are forgetting is that students aren’t numbers - they’re humans - and humans are anything but standard.


    My highest overall ACT score is a 29. My English score was a 34, my math score a 20. The differences in those numbers are obvious, because I’m much better at reading, literature, and English, while I struggle in math. That weakness costs me thousands of dollars a year, because my scholarships are based on overall test scores, even though I’m a journalism major and have only taken one math course. It didn’t matter what I was good at to the university, it only mattered what I wasn't good at. My weakness determined my worth.


    It’s not over, either. I’m applying to transfer to a new university, so I’ve been put through the gamut yet again. To top it off, these schools don’t put much stock in the ACT, so I studied hard and spent nearly 60 bucks to take the SAT. It’s like there’s no way to win - I can’t catch my breath between the hoops I have to jump through. And I ended up making a similar score on the SAT math, which was a waste of money.


    But I am more than my score. I’m a student yoga teacher at my university, which I why I chose to hold up my score in a yoga pose. I love sharing my practice with others, because it helps so many people. Yoga can relive depression, create joy, happiness, and build physical strength.


    And yet that doesn’t count for much. My heart and soul and my creativity go into teaching yoga, but there isn’t a scholarship for that. You can’t put a numbered score on a yoga practice, so colleges don’t care much about it.


    Aside from yoga, I teach fiddle lessons, write music and poetry, recycle, and advocate for causes I believe in. Again, these qualities don’t matter too much on a college application. It’s my score that really counts. Even though I think it takes an intelligent person to accomplish everything I do, my ACT numbers says I’m barely above average.


    When colleges focus more on the score than the student, they are repressing the growth and development of active, productive citizens. They’re saying, “We don’t care what you do, so long as you are good at taking tests”. I do so many awesome things, yet I don’t receive recognition for it. How is that a good way to select students?


    You may say, “But you have to write college essays!” And you’d be right. But most applications put a word count limit at 250. That’s barely half a page, and certainly not enough to understand a lot about an applicant’s writing style or personality. Admissions offices skimp on the things that really matter and look more towards testing than the actual person.


    I dislike the emphasis places on standardized test scores, and I believe a phone interview would be much more effective. You can’t look at a number, or words on a page, and get to know someone. Hearing their voice, their energy, their ideas, is much more compelling. I made a 29 on my ACT, and this has limited me so much. I didn’t get into fancy schools, even though I have lots to offer. I’m not a genius, but I think I’ve got lots to give to this world, like heart and productivity and creativity. But when it comes to applying for college, it doesn’t really matter what you can give. So long as you can check in the right bubbles on answer sheet.

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