That ritual goes beyond the educational institution. Applicants for a growing number of jobs, for example, also are required to take one or more standardized tests. They could be focused on assessing knowledge, skills, or personality.
But, a decision by the American Bar Association (ABA) could put in play the beginning of the end of all that.
In Law.com, Leigh Jones reports that the ABA Council of the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar "approved a plan to remove an admission test requirement for accredited law schools." Before that becomes official, it will have to be given the okay by the ABA's House of Delegates. That could happen as early as August.
For some this represents a surprise proposal. Previously, the debate was whether to allow the GRE to substitute for the LSAT. The law school at the University of Arizona kicked that off by accepting the GRE score. Soon enough Harvard Law followed. That gave the precedent unique credibility.
Few anticipate that, if passed by the ABA, this change will motivate the majority of law schools to drop a test requirement. After all, the whole continuum thought of as the "legal sector" tends to be staid. No test requirement would appear radical for law schools.
However, overall, the ABA proposal could shake the blind faith in standardized testing. Constituencies, ranging from elected government officials to parents, could be more willing to hear arguments for terminating those tests in all contexts.
The implications are profound.
Testing companies could go out of business.
Institutions will have to become more accountable in how they evaluate.
Those who don't test well wouldn't be shut out of opportunities such as admission to prestigious schools.
Those who do test well, such as members of Mensa, would no longer have a seeming inflated sense of self. (In my observations, admission to Mensa has created a kind of tragic flaw, impeding professional success).
And the next generation, which could be test-free, might be less prone to extreme angst.
Contact Jane Genova email@example.com.