GC becomes test optional


Tiana Johnson, Contributing Writer

The importance that GA institutions once held standardized testing to, seems to be slowly slipping away as GC joins other GA universities along their journey to becoming test optional.

Before this change, GC was among the three GA universities that required standardized test scores, a title that was shared with the University of GA and GA Tech. Now, GC has decided to join the other twenty-six universities and waive the testing option for potential first-year students who have obtained a minimum GPA of 3.2.

Due to low enrollment this year, waiving standardized testing can attract and encourage more college hopefuls to apply to GC and in turn, GC potentially could begin to see a peak in enrollment numbers and a rise in the student population. Going test-optional can combat the decline in student population due to retention issues and the current low enrollment numbers.

Mackenzie Pickle, a junior English major, felt that standardized testing is unfair to those with mental disorders and mental disabilities.

“Standardized testing is not an accurate reflection of someone’s intelligence due to the fact that some students are naturally not good test takers even if they do not have a history of a mental disorder or disability,” Pickle said.

Pickle expresses the strain she felt when taking standardized tests and how the thought of bubbling in a wrong answer could negatively impact all the plans she had laid out for her future stayed in the back of her mind.

“The first time I took the SAT, I got into the testing room and cried because I felt so stressed and overwhelmed,” Pickle said. “Not to mention the lack of testing resources my school had available for us. We often had to travel further out to testing sites and my school only set one day a year to take the test.”

Pickle felt happy for upcoming high school juniors and seniors or those looking to gain entry into a college in general, who no longer had to shoulder the stress of having perfect test scores to get into their dream.

“I’m glad that other colleges are realizing that test scores aren’t a good way to measure how smart a person is or the potential they could bring to a school,” said Scarrlee Porter, a senior English major. “They are just unnecessary.”

Porter echoes the same sentiments as Pickle, emphasizing the stress standardized testing places on sixteen to eighteen-year-olds, while also adding points about the testing conditions.

“Some of the things you see on the SAT and ACT are things you have not gone over yet in class then you’re stuffed in a room with proctors and students from other schools you haven’t met and they expect you to not get anxious and perform well,” said Porter. “Imagine how crazy that is. There are other ways to accurately reflect a student’s learning ability or their capacity to retain what they’ve learned in school.”

Kayla Goode, a senior English major offers a different view on what going test-optional can mean for future GC students.

“Standardized testing is rooted in classism and racism,” said Goode. “By making these tests optional for future students, you are knocking down barriers placed by the historic uplifting of a particular race as other races were being torn down and placed into boxes so they couldn’t be successful. You’re widening the field and giving minorities a fighting chance.”

Many students express positive thoughts towards the decision to make standardized tests optional for those students that meet the GPA requirements and other students are in agreeance that standardized testing should be done away with.

It appears that GC deciding to go test-optional may produce the positive results and increase in student admissions the university is hoping for. Generational perspectives and methods to appeal to the upcoming age group tend to vary from generation to generation so this could be just the start of a new trend of changes to admission requirements to colleges and universities.