Editorial: College preparedness more than just a test score

Recently, the Illinois Board of Education released a report that found less than half of Illinois high school students are ready for collegebr. This number was alarming to our editorial board, but we questioned what constitutes someone as prepared for college.

The study is based solely on numbers. ACT scores. GPA. Class rank. The works. All the things high school students — ourselves included — stress about when it comes time to applying for college. Now that all of our members have been in college for at least a year and some months, we think there’s more to college preparedness.

That’s not to say test scores and good grades shouldn’t hold any weight — they’re what got us all to this point — but a person’s ability to balance life and work are important, as well.

There’s a whole slough of skills that are essential to college success that will never be indicated in test scores. Be it laundry, cooking, taking care of bills and budgeting, learning directions and bus systems or any other number of skills — none of which are skills a test can predict.

College is a different animal. Yes, students register for classes, stress over exams and procrastinate on assignments. But students are also given a lot of free time.

How that time is spent is vital. Students need to be able to carve out their own schedule without the watchful eye of parents, guidance counselors or even friends.

A major part of college is experiences. Experiences outside of the classroom that allow students to further pursue their passions will undoubtedly serve students well in their futures.

Finding those opportunities takes motivation and sticking with them. Making the most of them takes hard work and determination. Certainly test scores and grades are an indicator of students’ efforts but they’re not the only indicator of how they will succeed.

A test score cannot depict how well a student will handle a personal crisis or the things we mentioned earlier, such as budgeting.

But these aspects are critical to college success too, and when students prepare for college, they should realize that it’s more than understanding all the words in a textbook that make you truly “college ready.”