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Endymion
04-08-2007, 08:43 PM
since we're all mostly in agreement that SAT/ACT scores and GPAs mean close to nothing, what should college admission be based on?

T-6005
04-08-2007, 08:45 PM
Undefinable sexual allure.

All About Eve
04-08-2007, 08:46 PM
Amount of worthlessness.

Rag Doll
04-08-2007, 08:47 PM
Undefinable sexual allure.

oh holy fuck, i'd be ivy league bound then.

T-6005
04-08-2007, 08:48 PM
oh holy fuck, i'd be ivy league bound then.
I might not be, but at least I'd know which unis to make friends at.

wheelchairman
04-08-2007, 08:49 PM
I like the Danish system.

There are no requirements. The criteria are the number of seats. Those with the highest grades get priority for those number of seats. There are a limited number of seats as well. (Which is why midwifing is the hardest education to get in Denmark, because it's so fucking useless.)

It makes so much sense compared to your crazy American way of giving the rich everything they want.

HornyPope
04-08-2007, 10:41 PM
There are no requirements. The criteria are the number of seats. Those with the highest grades get priority for those number of seats. There are a limited number of seats as well.

But it still revolves around the same principle that wants your academic success of few years in your life to dictate your future of schooling.

Personally I don't mind too much the current system of admission. I mean schooling is about studying the theories advanced by the school so taking the grades as a measurement of your success is a fair way to evaluate your academic achievement. I think its up to the students themselves to understand there is more to their education than the papers they wrote in schools and relly on their other smarts to advance their careers and their lives.

And I also favour the system, which is already practiced, where you could apply to the shittiest program (in the event that you don't have the grades to get to a program of your choice), do well in your classes and raise your GPA, and then transfer out to your desired program. If you're competent, there is absolutly no reason you can't pull it off. So that your teenage years when school wasn't high on your priority list don't forever haunt you.

All About Eve
04-08-2007, 10:43 PM
I agree with HornyPope, with one thing to add. I'm not sure if it's relevant or not, but I also like how you can go to a smaller school for a couple years if you don't know what you want to do, and then transfer to a larger school to specialize, and already have those credits.

Mota Boy
04-09-2007, 12:17 AM
since we're all mostly in agreement that SAT/ACT scores and GPAs mean close to nothing, what should college admission be based on?Why do they mean close to nothing? They're good predictors of your ability to succeed at college and in the workforce, which is the (official) purpose of education. They're not a perfect indicator, of course, but there's a strong positive correlation. I don't think there's a better objective standard.

Betty
04-09-2007, 01:28 AM
Well, I was pretty much just gonna say the same thing. I'm not in agreement with that first statement Ryan at all.

And to Per... as far as I'm aware, in the North American system things are still based on "seats." Sure, there are sometimes base standards, but I don't think it's often that people get rejected when they don't meet those standards, generally they just take everyone with the highest grades/scores and fill all the "seats" or even more if they can swing it.

Or maybe I'm just oblivious to something. That's at least the way you'd get admitted into any Canadian University.

Endymion
04-09-2007, 01:30 AM
Why do they mean close to nothing? They're good predictors of your ability to succeed at college and in the workforce, which is the (official) purpose of education. They're not a perfect indicator, of course, but there's a strong positive correlation. I don't think there's a better objective standard.

are they really? i know people who have scored relatively low on the sat (1200ish) and didn't really have that great of a gpa (~3.0) but they were amazing experiementalists with an uncanny intuition for extracting physics from a laboratory setup, far better than the 1500+sat/4.0gpa students. yes, it's a general correlation you're speaking of, but it's far looser than the prestige of random numbers would like you to believe. also, there are always outliers -- either good numbered complete idiots or (less commonly) low numbered geniuses -- that are then pushed either in or out (respectively) of the system to the detriment of themselves and others. how are we to allow those reclusive people, perhaps autistic or aspergers, who would benefit the world through allowing them to have a higher education, but they can not overcome the enterance barrier since they are only proficient in a particular area. perhaps a brilliant writer who can not -- no matter the effort -- do any form of mathematics, or on the other side of the coin the illiterate math genius? having some sort of secondary resource for admission for these people would be too taxing for schools due to the number of people who would use them despite being qualified.

not that i really care, my gpa and test scores are plenty awesome.

ninthlayer
04-09-2007, 01:45 AM
not that i really care, my cock is awesome.
I fixed it.

wheelchairman
04-09-2007, 05:47 AM
And to Per... as far as I'm aware, in the North American system things are still based on "seats." Sure, there are sometimes base standards, but I don't think it's often that people get rejected when they don't meet those standards, generally they just take everyone with the highest grades/scores and fill all the "seats" or even more if they can swing it.


Yeah but in Canada and Denmark, you don't need a second mortgage to pay for tuition.

JohnnyNemesis
04-09-2007, 06:19 AM
ps. Standardized tests themselves are biased. Ask me for studies on this and I'm going to roll my eyes and send you to Google and/or Sociology101, so don't bother.

sKratch
04-09-2007, 06:38 AM
are they really? i know people who have scored relatively low on the sat (1200ish) and didn't really have that great of a gpa (~3.0) but they were amazing experiementalists with an uncanny intuition for extracting physics from a laboratory setup, far better than the 1500+sat/4.0gpa students. yes, it's a general correlation you're speaking of, but it's far looser than the prestige of random numbers would like you to believe. also, there are always outliers -- either good numbered complete idiots or (less commonly) low numbered geniuses -- that are then pushed either in or out (respectively) of the system to the detriment of themselves and others. how are we to allow those reclusive people, perhaps autistic or aspergers, who would benefit the world through allowing them to have a higher education, but they can not overcome the enterance barrier since they are only proficient in a particular area. perhaps a brilliant writer who can not -- no matter the effort -- do any form of mathematics, or on the other side of the coin the illiterate math genius? having some sort of secondary resource for admission for these people would be too taxing for schools due to the number of people who would use them despite being qualified.

not that i really care, my gpa and test scores are plenty awesome.
I think you've got to admit though, that for the most part, the system in place treats the majority of people correctly; there will always be some small group of people that is undermined in any educational system that doesn't hinge largely on unicorns and candy rainbows.
Moreover, if you show yourself to be very proficient in some area of study or in some practical sense--such as the physics students you mentioned--you'll make connections with some people that will make sure you get to the right place. From what I know, once you get to the graduate level, getting connections is more important than getting a 4.0.

ps. Standardized tests themselves are biased. Ask me for studies on this and I'm going to roll my eyes and send you to Google and/or Sociology101, so don't bother.

I knew something was up when my AP English essay back in high school was "Explain why the white race is superior, citing literary devices used in pre-20th century literature,"...

wheelchairman
04-09-2007, 06:42 AM
As I said before,


Oh the only way grades measure intelligence, is how resourcefully you use them to get yourself ahead. That's it.

JohnnyNemesis
04-09-2007, 06:47 AM
I knew something was up when my AP English essay back in high school was "Explain why the white race is superior, citing literary devices used in pre-20th century literature,"...

I love you SO MUCH?!?!!!

sKratch
04-09-2007, 06:49 AM
I disagree. Assuming two students with the same major put equal effort into their studies and one graduates with a 2.5 and the other with a 3.5, I think it's highly probable that the student with a 3.5 is more intelligent.

JohnnyNemesis
04-09-2007, 06:53 AM
I disagree, because there are just way too many other factors in a student's life. The 2.5 kid could have very well been going through some intense personal issues (death in the family or some crazy shit) that deserved more attention than his studies. I know you said "probable", though, but cases like these happen more often than most people realize.

Besides, as we always say, intelligent and educated are two different things. Some of the dumbest people I know can pull consistent spectacular grades because once they feel comfortable and learn the ins and outs of student life, doing those kinds of things becomes super easy no matter how fuckin' stupid you are.

This all varies depending on fields of study and a bunch of other shit though, naturally.

sKratch
04-09-2007, 08:13 AM
Yes, there will always be special cases. I don't discredit that at all. However, do you honestly believe that these special cases comprise a sufficiently significant fraction of the student body in the world of higher education? I really don't.
And what sort of system do you propose that would correctly determine how able a person is to enter the workforce? I'm generally against the "if you can't come up with anything better, leave it the way it is" argument because it's pretty pretentious or what have you, but really, how do you construct a transcript that tells you how able a person is better than grades do? Maybe a sticky note from mommy that you had the flu for a semester? Unfortunately, from the standpoint of an employer, good grades and a heavy course load are indicative of a high probability of potential in the workforce. In any case, there's still always an interview. And if you're a dipshit with good grades, it'll become apparent in an interview. Of course it's harder to probably get an interview with lower grades, but if you can shine in your interview and whip up a terrific resume, you'll get the job over some schmuck who got straight A's but isn't worth a damn.
In the end, there will always be people who get screwed by the system or don't meet the needs of the status quo, but the system in place--in my opinion--is appropriate for the overwhelming majority of the population. I can't really think of a better way to do it, but I'm open to discussion.

wheelchairman
04-09-2007, 08:20 AM
I disagree. Assuming two students with the same major put equal effort into their studies and one graduates with a 2.5 and the other with a 3.5, I think it's highly probable that the student with a 3.5 is more intelligent.

I wouldn't say more intelligent at all. Grades are not a measure of intelligence at all. There are too many factors involved. A truer measure of intelligence, is getting mediocre or even bad grades and pulling yourself farther ahead than someone who got better grades and couldn't get as far.

JohnnyNemesis
04-09-2007, 08:45 AM
However, do you honestly believe that these special cases comprise a sufficiently significant fraction of the student body in the world of higher education?

I do, actually, and I definitely don't even consider these "special cases". But aside from that, I agree for the most part with the rest of your post, except I feel the need to say that dipshits run the world.

HornyPope
04-09-2007, 08:50 AM
Yeah intelligence ain't nothing to do with it.

It's true though that from an employers perspective, a good student is better work-suited than a mediocre one for all the reasons. Employers don't usualy need the brightest nor the special cases who got cheated in the school system, they need people who can understand the assignment material and perform the instructor's task. It's true that a student's personal situation can significantly impair his academic standing, but it's also not High school anymore and you're expected to be strong enough to deal with the passing of your mother or catching a stomach virus for example, because this is part of life. It will maybe taint one semester, but it shouldn't permanently make or break your studies. There are of course other circumstances that can criple your grade, but then you also have the option of taking less classes and university is pretty easy anyways, so I don't believe many motivated and intelligent students have that big of a hunch on their shoulders to carry that they can't even graduate with a decent grade.

Mota Boy
04-09-2007, 09:30 AM
I disagree, because there are just way too many other factors in a student's life. The 2.5 kid could have very well been going through some intense personal issues (death in the family or some crazy shit) that deserved more attention than his studies. I know you said "probable", though, but cases like these happen more often than most people realize.My argument (which you weren't responding to, obviously), is that how well grades measure intelligence is irrelevant, because they measure instead possibility of success.

Sure, there are definitely outliers, but I know people who have some sort of tragedy occur to them, or start to party really hard, or get into a serious, time-consuming relationship and still find time to study and maintain high grades. I also see people who can't handle doing both, or who keep blaming being "stressed" or some other outside factor on why they can't do work. Would any company seriously want to hire a person whose interest and ability to do their job well might suddenly plummet due to unforeseen, outside circumstances? And since GPA is the average of four years of work, you should be able to correct for the occasional problem (by the way, this is coming from someone who actually considers themselves to be one such exception, at least in high school, but that's another story).

Smart people can be missed by the system, but people who are both smart and hard-working, almost without exception, never are.

And yes, I understand that standardized tests are biased, but everything has inborn biases, and standardized tests have done a relatively good job of getting those under control. Again, I don't know of any better objective analysis for success. Beyond grades and test scores, you have the opinions of a small group of human beings judging you on an incredibly subjective basis of success (Is captain of the basketball team better than captain of the debate team? Is this essay better than that one? Is this race or religion better than that one?).

Edit: in retrospect, perhaps I should've read Vlad's post before I wrote basically the exact same thing.

HornyPope
04-09-2007, 09:38 AM
Yeah it's pretty much what I said. University students also have an option of putting a pause to their studies and resuming when they have sorted out their personal issues.

sKratch
04-09-2007, 09:50 AM
With Mr. Vlad as our shining star* example :D


*Star of David

Betty
04-09-2007, 01:37 PM
I woke up this morning thinking I really should come reply to this thread and kick its ass, but I see that has already been done. Good job boys.

Another thing though is the actual initial point which had to do with standardized tests. I guess SAT in the US and then things like MCAT, LSAT, etc for professional school. I think those tests can evaluate people probably quite a bit better than GPA. Somebody's who's intelligent but lazy will have a shitty GPA. Here lazy can be due to an inherent laziness which would be bad, but it could also be due to just an extreme lack of motivation for academics which might not necessarily translate itself to the workforce. I guess it depends on the specifics of the laziness and of the unmotivation. Also, there could be "personal issues," etc. but I really don't think that should account for too many exceptions. Because I'm cold hearted and think people should be able to deal with most shit and so only the pretty extreme cases should matter here.

Anyway, the standardized tests, while perhaps somewhat "biased" (I assume you mean to Western culture, or certain aspects of it, assuming someone went through a similar education system and learned similar fundamentals, etc...) and perhaps not accounting for people with strong minds in different areas of learning (which Ryan very correctly pointed out) I think are definitely a good way of measuring 'intelligence.' Intelligence here not necessarily referring to street smarts or book smarts, but more just a logic-based, reasoning skills, interpretation and communication of ideas type of deal. I don't know much about SATs, but that's what the MCAT/LSAT/GSAT are largely based on. You can "study" for these tests, but a smart person that hasn't studied (much) should still perform reasonably well, and a less intelligent person that had studied their ass off can only up their grade so high.

Finally, a lot of the problems with the system have been pointed out and have been pointed out correctly, but as has also been mentionned, these have largely catered to quite a minority of the population. I am really curious as to what kind of system would improve things for these people while still being equally fair to everyone else and not straining the system too much in terms of resources. Anything interview- or essay-based, while perhaps more personal, can still have QUITE a bit of subjective bias I think. Seriously, what else?

Actually, there's one idea that's not too bad, and it basically involves letting a LOT of people start in a program, and then chopping that amount of people in half or more when half are too dumb/not hard-working enough to pass their first set of classes. The problem here is that it consumes a lot more resources in that first semester, but it's probably more fair. I don't even know though because how many of those students that continue vs. fail out would have made it to that same position based on admission criteria?

You know, fuck it, Per keeps talking about intelligence being how well you can advance yourself and you know what? People KNOW there is a system in place. Dumb hard working people take advantage of it all the time. They're not very bright, but they work their asses off, because they know how to work the system. Sure GPAs can be skewed, but you need a high one and if you're remotely intelligent it IS attainable. Also, Ricky, you are a very bitter person when it comes to equality and all that jazz, but I mean, I assume you are one of these people that had to go through a lot to get where you are, but the point is that you GOT where you are and will presumably be very successful. Why? Because you're intelligent, and you know how to work the system. Should not others be able to do the same?

ZagmenO
04-09-2007, 02:01 PM
since we're all mostly in agreement that SAT/ACT scores and GPAs mean close to nothing, what should college admission be based on?

That's the one time I agree with the majority of the Offspring forums on anything besides how great the Offspring is.

Anyway, college admission should be based on how good your grades are in high school, plain & simple.

But you know what really motherfucking gets on my motherfucking nerves? The placement tests!!! What the fuck is up with that!!!!!!?????? Placement tests are just the stupidest pieces of shit ever in the fucking world!!! You take them to see what fucking math & english classes you should be in. Why can't you just go straight to the core courses of those? Holy fucking dumbass shit! Ban placement tests. Ban the SAT. I've never heard of this ACT business but ban that, too. In fact, just ban standardized tests altogether. They don't do anything but add more stress into your life. Fuck.

T-6005
04-09-2007, 02:23 PM
Why can't you just go straight to the core courses of those? Holy fucking dumbass shit! Ban placement tests. Ban the SAT. I've never heard of this ACT business but ban that, too. In fact, just ban standardized tests altogether. They don't do anything but add more stress into your life. Fuck.
Take them wasted. It worked for me.

ZagmenO
04-09-2007, 02:25 PM
Sure. Got any booze on ya?

Endymion
04-09-2007, 03:13 PM
why should college admission be based on high school gpa? i went from a 2.1 weighted gpa in high school (it would have been <2 if not for three AP classes which i had a's in my senior year) to a 3.75 in college without changing my work or study habits. why? because they're completely different.

anyway, i propose something radically different:
college admission is based on an interview by professors in your chosen field of study. catch: before you are eligible to be interviewed, you must have an article published in a peer-reviewed journal within that field.

Betty
04-09-2007, 03:22 PM
Ryan. Do you mean admission into undergrad? Because most students don't know what the hell they want to do when they are starting college/university and I really don't think they'd be able to give a particularly insightful interview in a particular field.

And like I said, anything interview-based can be quite subjectively biased. I mean, I think overall professors are pretty smart people, but they have different views and opinions like the rest of us, and might choose some students over others for whatever random reason they might have.

Finally, paper? For undergrad? I hope you mean grad school. And even then publications at that point can be largely due to luck and not necessarily passion/intelligence/talent/motivation/etc. I think for grad school the interview system would be great and that's how it should be really. If a professor thinks you can do it, then let them be the judge.

Oh, and one last thing. How much is college admission in the US based on high school GPA and how much is based on SAT (or whatever) scores? Because I assume that you'd have a decent SAT score to get in to undergrad even if you had a pretty shitty GPA?

Lodat225
04-09-2007, 05:06 PM
If I think you're in; you're in.

ZagmenO
04-09-2007, 05:06 PM
Lodat for dean of admissions. :D

Lodat225
04-09-2007, 05:08 PM
I'm already there. I'm sitting at the office right now.

Mota Boy
04-09-2007, 05:22 PM
catch: before you are eligible to be interviewed, you must have an article published in a peer-reviewed journal within that field.Given that tens of thousands of people apply to college and/or grad school each year, I don't see how that's feasible.

Michelle, I don't know concrete numbers, but both are very important. I'd say they're judged in conjunction with each other. If the high school that you're from has a good local reputation, a high GPA would probably mean more than a high SAT score. However, if you're from some unknown high school applying to an out of state school, they'd likely use your SAT score more to gauge how well you do against not merely your peers but against the nation. Thousands of valedictorians apply to college each year, and the SAT is a way to pit 'em against each other.

As for a high SAT score making up for a low GPA, my college admissions advisers actually told me not to retake the test to try for a higher score, as they figured that the contrast would make me appear even lazier to the schools I was looking at.

And Endy, I've also done much better in college than in high school GPA-wise, but when I look at everyone from my graduating high school class, I realize that I'm an outlier, and that usually high school GPA was a good indicator of college success.

Endymion
04-09-2007, 05:36 PM
michelle -- i meant undergrad. if they don't know what they want to do, why are they wasting time in college? figure it out, and then sign up. blah blah, taking classes to find out what you like? go to the library. this would also greatly reduce the number of students, which, in my mind, is a good thing. when i said paper, i didn't mean to imply cutting edge research. there are plenty of things one could write about at a high school graduate level. a fairly good review paper of some recent developments, some sort of new educational lab. or in the social studies, the entrance barrier is even lower.

the value of a degree in this nation is highly depreciated. a BA or BS is basically not worth the paper it's printed on. the nation wants all people to get through a high school education? well, sorry to say not everyone is cut out for it. other nations have realized that, why can't we? so in an attempt to get everyone to get through high school, it is reduced to the point where you learn nothing, no one is tested to any strict degree on what they are suppose to have learned, and they're pushed out the door. what are businesses to do now that their requirement of a HS deploma means nothing? why, require a BA/BS! repeat cycle, BA/BS now worth nothing. honestly now people in US universities -- look around you. how many people are on your campus that simply have no business being there? how often do you think to yourself "how the fuck did that guy get in?"

Eccentric Sara
04-09-2007, 06:07 PM
I'm glad I live in the U.K.!:D I don't expect anyone to explain any of this stuff in detail,but what is a GPA score?
I've heard that degree courses in North America are like the equivalent of 'A' Levels in the U.K.(i.e.-easier than degree courses in the U.K.)For non-Brits,'A' Levels are qualifications we get at age 18,and the grades from these determine which universities we can go to etc.......Jeez,I worked my arse off at school,and did really well! If my 'A' Level grades and degree counted for nothing in the end,that would be awful!:eek: Seeing as some of the stuff I had to learn was quite difficult and involved a lot of work,it DOES count for something,for which I am very grateful.:)

Having said that though,I think some degree subjects are easier than others and different courses involve different amounts of work! For example,I did an Environmental Science degree,which involved around 25 hours a week of lectures and practicals,plus coursework,plus end of semester exams.One of my friends did a History degree,which involved 9 hours a week of lectures and seminars,lots of essays,and just one or two end of semester exams each year.I worked my arse off,but the only work she seemed to do was sit and copy paragraphs from books,and I didn't see her doing that very often! She had so much free time that she would bombard ppl like me with those stupid random questionaire emails- u know the ones-"what is your favourite colour?" and all that bollocks.AND she got good marks! As a result,I don't regard History degrees very highly!:D NO offence meant to any history students/grads tho!lol

Mota Boy
04-09-2007, 06:40 PM
Endy - I know all of one person who went to public school in my hometown who I think would be able to get a paper published in a peer-reviewed journal. In other words, none of the people I know, many of whom are doing/did do very well in college, would be able to make it out of my hometown. In fact, you go to college precisely so that you can be able to publish a paper, not the other way around. Do you honestly think a pre-med student will be able to get a paper published on, say, cell biology with access to only a high school science lab?

And Sara - G.P.A. stands for grade point average. An A = 4, a B = 3. a C = 2, a D = 1 and an F = 0. If you take an advanced class like an AP class, however, it's worth a 5.

sKratch
04-09-2007, 06:44 PM
Endy that's some crazytalk. That's all I've got to say about that.

Betty
04-09-2007, 06:49 PM
Okay, I totally agree with you on that stuff Ryan.

See, you keep throwing out these bits and pieces of your opinion that are very misleading and then following up with a detailed explanation. Even your first post regarding GPAs and SAT scores meaning nothing. You obviously don't think they mean nothing, it's the exceptions that you're considering.

So this new method of yours would require an entire revamp of the education system. I think you'd need to revamp high school as well though to even get to the point of vaguely being prepared to interview with professors and write papers. I mean, I remember coming out of high school and I had chosen a degree to pursue but by no means was I 100% confident in my choice and by no means did I have any fucking clue what I was getting myself into. Luckily it ended up being even better than I could have hoped.

I agree that a degree means next to nothing though and I don't have a huge amount of respect for a lot of the people I meet in college. And I agree that the value of independent learning is greatly undervalued. I'm only starting to really get into that whole frame of mind now, I think I would have had to have gained a different perspective on learning earlier in my youth.

Endymion
04-09-2007, 08:52 PM
the point i'm trying to get at is that the entire education system in the country (and to a lesser extent others) is in a downward spiral and there's no easy way out. there was a point in time not all that long ago where a high school education meant you could sit down and read the newspaper and understand everything in it, that you could read a contract, that you could write a coherent letter to your congressperson, that you could do your own taxes (unless you're a total psycho with shit all over the place), and that you could calculate tax on a burger and fries. of your graduating high school class, how many do you think could realistically pull that off? and for added excitement, how many people who have graduated with a four year degree from a university in this country do you think can do that? what does this mean for the future of our country?

the only solution i see is a complete, radical change to the education system, from the top to the bottom.

oh, and Mota, i again stress that there are many, many things accepted to peer-review journals that are not original research. also, i never meant to imply that i thought that a system like that would ever really be enacted, just that i think it would be superior to what we have now.

Rag Doll
04-09-2007, 08:59 PM
I agree the educational system needs a huge overhaul. I mean, I took intro to literature my first semester and there were people in my class that couldn't wrap their minds around the meaning of the word "reclusive". It's depressing. I'm just not sure what the best way to actually change things is....

Betty
04-09-2007, 10:08 PM
I TA students in second year university that have grammar and spelling that is pretty much the equivalent of mine when I was in grade 4. I'm pretty sure by grade 5 I knew how to write properly. But there is nothing in the marking scheme that accounts for "horrible writing skills" so because they can tabulate their data and follow a set format, they all get B+/A- averages anyway.