First of all, I hope you did well on your subject tests :) I personally hated all the standardized testing when I was going through the process, so congratulations on finishing another round of those. Hopefully you’re finishing up or already done!
Next, there are so many things I want to say I don’t know where to start! I’ve been taking an Introduction to Teaching & Learning class this quarter, and it’s really given me so many tools to talk about education and learning that I just want to share. Here are some bullet points that may be relevant:
- The SAT tests are not meant to gauge how intelligent you are. Theoretically, the ACT/SAT/SATIIs/etc are meant to indicate college readiness. Unfortunately, for a number of reasons, these tests are flawed. They strongly indicate whether a student is not college ready, but are not great at giving valuable information about students who score above a certain threshold and their college readiness.
- Intelligence can’t be measured in one test anyway. Like really, what the hell is intelligence? I definitely subscribe to Multiple Intelligences Theory moreso than that an IQ test can determine your intelligence. To excel in math, music, languages, interpersonal relationships, emotional understanding, and the natural sciences all fall under different types of intelligences. We all have our unique talents and skill sets. Obviously the current educational system favors certain types of intelligences, but I personally don’t believe it should be that way.
- This concept of intelligence shouldn’t bar your ability to learn. A psychologist at Stanford, Carol Dweck, famously introduced the concept of growth mindset. Individuals with a fixed mindset believe in some set innate ability. Fixed mindset individuals take a test and assume the score reflects their intelligence. A growth mindset individual, on the other hand, will look at that score and understand it as simple a gauge of where they are now. A failure to a fixed mindset individual is an opportunity to learn to a growth mindset individual.
Very long story short, the number of AP classes one takes does not indicate how smart or dumb a person is. I never took AP or Honors classes because my school didn’t offer them, so I don’t have a great gauge of comparing myself that system. But I did take the ACT/SAT/SATIIs and they have never been a reflection of how willing I am to learn. That willingness to learn is what pushed me through high school, keeps me afloat and strong in college, and will carry me through the rest of my life. Not some scores for a three hour test I took when I was seventeen. You are so much more than some basic concept of “smartness” or the number of AP classes you’ve taken or a test score.
Anyway, you’re done with those tests! Celebrate with a treat and enjoy the rest of your day <3
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