In the past half a century, the basis of granting admissions to students for Higher Education depended solely on an academic basis. If we go further back, academic merit wasn’t even a part of the student evaluation system; students were selected on the basis of economic and social backgrounds. So basically, in the field of education, American revolution was all about giving academic merit more weight-age than wealth and a social background. Understandably, the purpose of this exercise was to uphold the American dream of equal opportunity. My question is quite simple, would this strategy be able to benefit our country by producing leaders who ensure sustainable growth and development?
Practice of selecting students based on mathematics and comprehension capabilities overlooks crucial developmental skills. Normally, what employers look for in candidates are personal trades such as confidence, social skills, perseverance and leadership skills. Astonishingly, there no test along with the SAT’s that can measure how well a student performs under high pressure, target-oriented situations? Or a test that can measure a person’s ability to lead a team. It seems our modern day student evaluation system is overdue for a revolution of its own.
Many College Presidents and admission staff believe that the SAT is an outdated test format and it needs to be thrown out or completely revamped. They believe that there is much more to a student than how well he/she can add, subtract or understand a piece of literature. Qualities such as ambition, self-control, optimism, social intelligence, zest, curiosity and grit are often more important for employers when they are looking for candidates in a specific field. These are the qualities that an admissions officer should partially look for in a possible student instead of just concentrating on academic achievements.
Although these qualities are crucial, it is very difficult to put into a format of testing. Currently there Is an astounding amount of research being conducted by various bodies on how to implement tests to show which of these qualities exist in a student and which do not. No such test has been produced as of yet and most Universities are hesitant on implementing methods that have not been thoroughly tested.
There are many obstacles at present hindering the path of formulating such tests. Time being the main constrain as universities need to sort through thousands of applications in a matter of two months. This makes effective time management difficult. Examining these characteristics with each applicant would require an immense amount of time and the universities do not have the resources available.
Utilization of related research can definitely help us in creating an evaluation system which can help admission officers sort through thousands of applications more efficiently. This way HE institutes will still able to examine each crucial characteristic that is needed in the perfect student.