Education: Assessment Centers

The college admissions system has been thought to be broken for a while now.  When students submit applications, colleges are learning about the students’ competence to score successfully on standardized tests and earn a high GPA with an overwhelming number of AP/IB classes.  Even with essays, recommendation letters, and alumni interviews, colleges still do not get the complete picture about their applicants’ creativity and character. A better way for colleges to have more comprehensive information on students is an assessment center, in which applicants will spend a day completing a series of individual tasks, group activities, and interviews.  Some assessments are objectively scored for performance, while others are observed by multiple trained evaluators looking for key behaviors. Companies, such as General Electric, AT&T, and KPMG, use assessment center techniques to check their potential employees’ analytical and communication skills.  Sending student to take the SAT at a test center for half a day may not be as useful as sending students to assessment centers to measure their values and their social, emotional, and creative capabilities. Then, students will be given the chance to show their distinctive talents and colleges will be less likely to reject the next Walt Disney.

Contributor: Chelsea Edirisuriya

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