This is is the third in a series of posts Tokyo Academics is writing about the college applications process. We're doing this in an effort to cut through what we see is a lot of noise about the process!
Before we deep-dive into standardized exams, we at Tokyo Academics wanted to note a few things.
We fully agree that standardized examinations don’t measure true academic ability. Colleges also take into account also character-based academic strengths which cannot be shown in tests – standardized exams aren’t even close everything!
These tests also aren’t fully objective – they're skewed toward students who are representative of traits dominant in American society (in terms of gender, race, economic standing, cultural upbringing etc.). A particularly egregious example (from test prep materials) is:
We are aware of the debates about what it really measures and whether they are a useful tool to assess students. However, there's still no viable substitute and they’re something we all have to live with. This being said, there are five key tests (and test types) you will see:
Lastly, a few words about timing. Above is the previously-posted timeline Tokyo Academics uses for student planning. It can be as busy as you'd like, or it can be as easy as you'd like. The main thing to keep in mind is to try not to have too many tests occurring at the same time. Finish and lock down your SAT (or ACT) studying and take the test as early as you can (early in Junior year!), so you can switch your concentration to AP and SAT II exams.