Audaces fortuna juvat

Working towards my dream

Yes, Test Scores Are Important, But…

Posted by C Moon on December 6, 2007

This time of the year is the season of the university entrance exams in Korea. As any previous years, Korean newspapers feature successful stories and strategies to enter universities in Korea and abroad. This past week, a Korean newspaper featured several students who got admitted to prestigious schools in the USA last year. However, I was simply surprised with their so-called successful study plans.

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student who started her freshman year at Harvard this year said that she took AP Microeconomics test three times in order to score five. Another student said that he took AP tests until he scored five on them. If getting into a prestigious college is the ultimate goal, their strategies may not be bad since better scores on standardized tests may raise chances to be admitted by better colleges. However, from the perspective of a learner, they seem to be very bad.

AP tests are given once per year. The same AP subject undoubtedly covers the same materials year to year. Maybe for some, a year is a long time to forget what they have learned previously. Consequently, a Harvard freshman mentioned in the previous paragraph studied the same exact materials for three consecutive years. Can we at least assume that she mastered the subject? Hmm… let’s remember that the AP test does not cover the subject in the most depth (e.g., AP Physics B does cover the gist of the subject at some advanced level, but there are still more advanced materials to learn if one so wishes to spend more time in the subject). In that respect, for the last two of the three consecutive years, she did not step forward and missed chances to learn more interesting materials.

I am not even sure whether her study plan was right for her future beyond college. I would neither follow nor recommend their study plans.

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Photo Credits: “High school years” by ktget on naver.com (a Korean search engine)

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