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How important are test exams when applying for college?

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Quick Answer

Test scores are extremely important when applying for college. Though test scores are not the only factors colleges examine, admissions officers do compare the scores to other admission criteria to determine whether or not the potential student is a good fit.

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The exam scores are compared against other admission criteria, which ultimately determines whether or not a potential student gets accepted. Admissions officers use this information to decide if the applicant is a right fit for the campus. Though test exams are not the sole factor in determining admission, 78 percent of schools in the United States consider test exams critical.

According to The National Association for College Admission Counseling, larger institutions tend to take test exam scores into more consideration than smaller schools. However, smaller schools do still use exam scores to make a final decision. Four-year colleges do consider test scores more intensively than community colleges, but if a student wants to transfer from a smaller school to a university, the scores will be examined along with the student's transcripts. Students should take exam preparation very seriously when approaching college admission time, yet it is important for them to combine good test scores with volunteer work or extracurricular activities.

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