I give Information Sessions at least once a week and it seems the most common questions I get are related to testing, typically from the parents. Clearly, families put a great deal of emphasis on testing. We do require that students submit SAT or ACT scores and we certainly look at them, but I always wish families (especially the prospective students themselves) would ask more about non-test, non-GPA, non-number based parts of the application.
Testing is just one piece of the application and I'd guess it's the best understood part (you can find pretty much everything you need to know online). Why is it that families come all the way to Hanover, NH to ask me about the SAT? Remember, testing is just one of many things we consider.
If you're going to stress about your college application, stress about how you can positively contribute to your community, not about how you can improve your test scores. At least then others will benefit from your stress. I hope that future posts to this blog will help prospective students, families, and their counselors better understand what's happening in the minds of the people reading these applications.
What do you think about testing? Really...I would love to hear your thoughts! Comment away!