It’s 8 a.m.

Today is S.A.T. day. No wait. It’s A.C.T. day. Nope–G.R.E. already? Oh man, that M.C.A.T. just took the wind out of my brain.

We have a great system going here. Too many people? That’s no problem at all; the educational system has a way to quantify you. A way to strip away every single aspect of your very being and leave you with an assessment of your brain’s “practical application of knowledge” abilities or its I.Q.—do you even know what those letters stand for anymore? It doesn’t matter does it? According to the education system, it doesn’t. According to your competitors, it doesn’t. According to your family and friends, it doesn’t. So why should it matter to you? It doesn’t.

Testing is necessary tool—I accept this fact. However, what I refuse to condone as a multi-faceted human being is the fact that only those children or young individuals who scrape through the barbed filters of standardized testing deserve a chance at success.

It’s a dog-eat-dog world. Actually, scratch that—it was dog eat dog for the last decade. Now it’s obliterate everyone else in the arena before you start competing. What do I mean by that? In a world where 900 applicants per competitive position rarely surprises, the applicant who gets the gig better be able to dance while walking on his hands and running a halal cart at the same time. The process works like this: an evaluator has a bunch of applications. Rather than going through each one and increasing their work load, they cut that load in half. How do they do it? Tests! High cut-offs, which may or may not be published on the application, website, or flyer (wink wink), will reduce a ridiculous number of applicants to half the original. Only from that point does the potential employer start to strip away the test scores and look at the human beings themselves.

Hence, this has actually made the standardized test the lock and key to a competitive position. Scoring highly on any of these tests automatically puts you ahead of more than half of the applicants—so, in contrast to the tone I may or may not have presented at the start of this article, perhaps these tests aren’t that bad at all. Perhaps they’re the easiest way to slip your way in to that dream graduate school, the dream position in a firm. Sure, the abbreviation could stand for something crazy; sure, you might have to look at bubbles all day and pencil in answers for questions that have no place on a standardized test, but you must do it. You must. Because the future of evaluations has ensured, from common core testing at elementary levels to specialized testing at higher institutions, that you are no longer much of a human unless you can cross a certain number on a certain test first. Beat the system, and the best of luck.

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