Standardized tests

Opinion writer Kahindo Musungira argues standardized tests should not be used to measure whether a graduating student is fit for graduate school.

Since I was young, my dreams have always included taking the LSAT, graduating college and going to law school. But now because of the coronavirus, that may not be possible anymore. In March, classes went online. On April 7, the LSAT was canceled. At that time, I didn't know what to do. I had planned on my life going a certain way, but now it was all falling into jumbles.

Many students shared these same dreams of going to graduate school. They suddenly had to face the cancellation of standardized tests like the GRE, LSAT and MCAT due to lockdowns. All our hard work was gone just like that. I studied hard to graduate early so I could go to law school soon and retire at 45, but now I can’t go to law school, which means I cannot retire at 45.

My mom and dad had been working so hard to send my brother and I to college with the hopes that we would graduate and get our doctorates. Now, my brother cannot go to medical school because he was not able to take the MCAT on April 4. He is going to have to take a whole year off due to missing that one test. All my parents’ hard work is going to waste.

This situation of not being able to go to law school has made me think, “What does the future hold for me?” I used to think that I had power over my future, but now it seems not. No matter how much time and effort I spent planning my future, one catastrophe and my whole life falls apart. Should I just let the world rule my life because I do not know when this pandemic will end? I have been working hard for 20 years now, and I do not think that because I missed the LSAT test due to unforeseen disasters, it should affect my dream of going to law school.

First of all, standardized tests should not have been the way to decide whether I am qualified to go to law school. Performance on these standardized tests does not determine whether a person will do well in law school. If the exams were so good at showing which people would do well in a particular career, what would have been the point of going to classes? I might as well not have gone to class and instead spent the time preparing for the tests.

I have never been a fan of standardized tests, but I still took them. Now that I no longer have that opportunity due to COVID-19, I had to find another way to go to graduate school. Although I cannot go to law school because I can’t take the LSAT, I can go to graduate school and study something else. I am studying telecommunication now, and I have decided to pursue communication in graduate school. Some universities do not require standardized tests for their master’s degree, and fortunately for me, I have found some excellent universities to apply for in the U.S. and Europe to get my master’s degree.

So if you missed your standardized test due to COVID-19 like me, it is not the end of the world. It would be best if you looked harder, and you will find your next path.

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