A Word About SAT & ACT Exams

May 24, 2008

You’ve probably been out of school since Neil Armstrong gallivanted across the moon. But yes, the college still wants your previous high school and college transcripts, and your SAT’s and ACT’s. The administrators want to measure your scholastic intellect.

Though in recent years, the SAT has been getting a bad rap. Social Scientist Charles Murray (who wrote the book, Losing Ground and The Bell Curve, co-written with Richard J. Herrnstein) proposed that the SAT be eliminated altogether because the test favors privilege individuals. In essence, privilege kids are smart because their parents are smart*. But right now, some colleges still want them.

Send for these items at least three months in advance, five months if you’ve been out of school for more than 20 years. Since, they’ve computerized their files, but your original, paper version is probability in the basement of the institution.

Don’t worry too much about the acronymed exams if you have been to college before, especially to get into a city or state college. But a private college or university might give you misery for the lack of SAT paraphernalia. Be aware that SAT’s and ACT’s have expiration dates too. So if it’s been a while since you’ve been in the game, don’t be surprised if you have to take them again.

Writing a Personal Statement

You may have to write a personal statement to get into college, an essay about yourself and your goals. This is like a sale’s pitch, so make it relevant and be sincere. In most cases, you can talk about your return to college as an older student, though be sure to tie that in to the question at hand if any. Stay away from controversial topics too. And you want this piece of work in the best shape possible. So have your spouse, or even your kids to look it over once you’ve completed it.

* Cohen, Patricia. “Debate on Ending SAT Gains Ground.” The New York Times 19 Sept. 2007: Education.


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