Are Standardized Tests the Best Form of Assessment?

January 15, 2016 0 Comments

For the average American student, standardized testing has become an integral part of his or her educational experience since they first started middle school. While at first, they gave little thought as to what these scores would mean for them, students begin to realize, especially when confronted with the ACT or SAT that their score on a single test could determine if they get an acceptance letter from their dream university or whether they have to settle with a college that is much lower on their list. With all that is riding on a single test score, educators and students begin to ask: is standardized testing the best way of assessment?

According to Time Magazine, “The earliest record of standardized testing comes from China, where hopefuls for government jobs had to fill out examinations testing their knowledge of Confucian philosophy and poetry.” It’s plain to see that standardized testing has changed since then. However, it is clear that standardized testing is an age-old method. Our modern versions of standardized tests such as the SAT and the ACT were developed much more recently.

The SAT was developed in 1925 as the “Scholastic Aptitude Test” by the College Board. While the SAT tests of today last for hours, the initial SAT test only lasted for 90 minutes. After World War II, the SAT had become a standard for admittance into college. The SAT remained primarily unchanged for sixty years until the addition of a writing section in 2005.

After the SAT had been around for over thirty years the ACT was developed. Everett Franklin Lundquist, who also pioneered the GED test, developed the ACT in 1959. The ACT was one of the first standardized tests that would determine possible courses of study for students by inquiring about their interests. According to Time Magazine, “The SAT is geared toward testing logic, while the ACT is considered more a test of accumulated knowledge.”

While the purpose of the tests makes sense, in practice, it could be argued that they are no longer the best way of assessing students. Each student is born with a unique set of skills and they come from a diverse array of backgrounds. With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to assess them based on those qualities? Some students could excel in Art, Music, and Theater and end up with a dismal score. On the same note, some students aren’t as adept at taking tests as others and, while they maintain the same GPA as a fellow student, may end up with a much lower score.

While the precedent is set for schools to test students with the SAT and ACT standardized tests, it could be time for a change. With the great variety in students of today, it could be time for a method of assessment that not only assesses their accumulated knowledge and logic, but also tailors the assessment to their strengths, helping demonstrate to colleges the great things they can bring to their university.


Happy New Year From Eli360

January 1, 2016 0 Comments

Dear friends and partners of Eli 360,

We wish you the best with the closing of the past year and the beginning of the new. With every New Year comes new resolutions and a fresh opportunity to make the new year your own. We hope you can look back at 2015 and reflect on the blessings of the past year and look to 2016 with excitement at the prospect of a chance to make the most of a new year.

For this next year, we encourage you to challenge yourself to take on new endeavors with excitement and enthusiasm.

Neil Gaiman once said: “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re doing something.”

We hope you can take these words of encouragement to heart and be unafraid to explore new horizons in the coming year, to be creative in all your endeavors.

Best wishes and blessings in the coming year,

Eli 360

Human Nature and Holistic Development

June 12, 2014 0 Comments

Why is it important to consider ones entire personhood throughout the development process?

How Do I Acquire New Knowledge?

May 8, 2014 0 Comments

Although you can’t go back and change things about your past, you can promote positive changes in the lives of your children and young people in general. Read about why it DOES matter how you acquire new knowledge.

Why is Career Guidance Important?

April 28, 2014 0 Comments

The sinking of the Titanic was caused, quite literally, by a lack of vision on the part of the ship’s crew. How can lessons learned from the Titanic tragedy help young people struggling with vision for their own personal career pathway? Read this brief article to find out for yourself.

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August 2014 Applicants, It’s Time to Prepare!

October 15, 2012 0 Comments

It doesn’t matter if you are doing A-levels, O-levels, homeschooling, AUSMAT, a U.S. high school curriculum, IB or any number of other secondary school curricula offered the world over. If you are planning to enroll in a U.S. university in August 2014, now is the time to prepare!

How well will Foreign Students Endorse their overseas experience?

August 11, 2012 0 Comments

The issues shared in the article deal with challenges at universities in Australia yet they are the same issues that all our partner universities face year-in-and-year-out. The difference with our partner universities is that they have. . .

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Personal Leadership

July 3, 2012 0 Comments

Do not be ambitous to go after a life, a career or calling that is incongruent to who you are. You will end up bankrupt whether socially, professionally or psychologically. Most importantly you will never experience this aspect we call – leadership.

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Cost of Attendance and Financial Aid Opportunities at U.S. Universities

June 21, 2012 1 Comment

One of the most important questions we address in our work with non-U.S. families is, “How much will it cost to attend a university in the U.S.?” To answer this question, let’s start with the basics. Very broadly speaking, the cost of one year of university in the U.S. ranges from $20,000 to $54,000 for tuition, fees, room and food. Among our partner universities, annual costs range from $22,000 to $40,000 per year. Most international students do, however, receive some sort of financial assistance from U.S. universities.

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ELI 360 Vision

May 16, 2012

. . . our greatest desire is that all people be able to develop their individual talents, abilities, gifts and resources to the maximum BUT WITHOUT harming or hindering others in the process.

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