Standardized testing is a necessary part of the college process for most Blair seniors applying to college.
Trying to understand what standardized testing actually means, or perhaps more practically—how much standardized testing "counts" in the college process—is a subject of much discussion and debate. Most all highly selective colleges make every effort to look beyond standardized testing to find the most capable, well-prepared and compelling candidates for their schools, which means that such things as academic performance, counselor and teacher recommendations, student involvement and essay writing really do carry the day.
We at Blair hold to the notion that standardized testing should be seen as part and parcel of a student's complete "package" to college. In the great majority of cases, we have found that student performance on standardized tests tends to be reflective of academic performance. In other words, students who do well academically tend to produce standardized testing that is reflective of their high achievement. Our hope is that our students are able to present standardized testing that is in keeping with their academic accomplishments, which in the minds of admission professionals everywhere, is certainly "high enough."
That said, standardized testing still occupies an important place in the admission process at many of leading state universities, where "numbers" are a critical assessment tool. As well, with standardized testing sometimes being a factor in the need-based financial aid process at a number of colleges across the country, we feel obligated to provide our students with the opportunity to score as well as they can. Toward that end, we provide our school community access to Method Test Prep; for details about how to register, please contact the College Office at (908) 362-6121, ext. 5620.
Regarding test preparation during the academic year, we strongly believe that student performance in any area, particularly in the classroom, should not be compromised due to excessive test preparation. While summers and breaks during the school year have traditionally been great times to focus on test prep, we have seen some good results during the school year, both via Method Test Prep and other types of preparation. Feel free to take advantage of what suits your needs and interests best and always keep your counselor and the College Office informed as to your intentions, as we may well be able to assist you as you plan your testing strategy.