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Should Admissions Be Holistic Or Entrance Exam Based?

Discussion in 'Education & Personal Growth' started by Rihana, Feb 16, 2021.

  1. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    Colleges admit students based on Holistic admissions OR entrance exam and scores/grades.
    Which do you consider as fairer to students for Bachelors / Undergraduate college admissions?

    A holistic review usually involves reviewing all of the following:
    • Rigor of academic coursework
    • Any trends (up or down) over the course of your academic career
    • Test scores including SAT/ACT, SAT Subject Tests, or AP/IB exams
    • How your performance compared to others from your high school (i.e. class rank)
    • What your counselor and teacher recommendations reveal
    • Essays and short response answers
    • Extracurricular activities
    • Special talents and/or passions you possess
    • Special circumstances like disabilities, illness, or family/financial situation
      Source
    Entrance exam or scores based admissions, as expected, rely on figures like scores in one or more entrance and other qualifying exams, class 12 grades and so on.

    Is one method better than the other? Discussion is about the time when 17-18 year old's apply to bachelor's or undergrad in India and other countries.
    .
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
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  2. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    To your exhaustive list, I would add
    - a complete psychometric analysis to evaluate the personality of the student
    - aptitude test for evaluating the mental abilities
    - interest test - what kind of work he likes doing
    - personal interview
    - maybe some physical aspects - fine motor/gross motor skills
    - technology adaptability

    Will respond in detail later.
     
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  3. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks for the first response, HR! Look forward to more.

    The question is which system of admissions is more fair to the students. Or fair to more students.
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  4. Rihana

    Rihana IL Hall of Fame

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    My own opinion on this varies with the time in life. Sometimes, in the throes of the U.S. undergrad admission cycle, my mommy-friends and I felt that the Indian system of "get this grade, this score" is a known devil/evil/monster. Slog it out and get the needed score.
     
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  5. hrastro

    hrastro Finest Post Winner

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    @Rihana, I hope you will forgive me for a short deviation and a long post here.

    The scores, entrance exams, essays etc are for college admissions.
    But I would like to talk about life goals.

    Let me start with an example - if I had a vacation and I love the beach - I may like to go to Maldives, but my budget may not allow it. So let's say I choose Goa.
    Now - my destination is clear. It is ONLY AFTER THAT I book the journey & the stay, and after I reach there, I worry about what photos I would like to save and what I am going to write about the experience.
    I dont start with - oh my neighbour travelled in Rajdhani express and said the train is great. Let me take it and go where it takes me.
    OR I dont say Air-India flights have great service and in-flight food, let me go wherever it takes me.

    Even with a short vacation, we decide the destination and then we think about the journey?
    So, why are we doing that with education/careers ? Why are we looking at colleges (the journey) BEFORE we look at the career aspirations (the destination)?

    Most people are born with their aptitudes or develop them in their childhood. And their personality is a sum total of their experiences till they turn 13-14-15.
    After that, as they grow up, there are some changes in opinions, interests, maybe a few experiences teach them some lessons in people management, communication skills, leadership roles etc. But their basic aptitudes and personalities remain the same.

    Now, if career aspirations are built upon a student's strengths, aptitudes, personality traits, interests, leadership styles, motivation factors - it makes the student excel at what he does & be successful at the career and also feel fulfilled & satisfied and happy and productive.

    He would not waste time working on his weaknesses & running races that he can never win and fight his low self-esteem and inferiority complex all his life!

    At 15-16, if the student is counselled on such a 360 degree view of himself, and also about the various futuristic destinations he can take up, and is given a few research tools for him to evaluate the careers or try them out at a small scale, it makes a huge difference, he can be helped to decide his destination.

    Now let us come to your original question.
    I will give a few examples with the assumption that the student has decided his destination.

    Say, a student decides to be a tour operator + travel writer -
    The college would evaluate his Visual Spatial aptitude, his GPS abilities, his ability to care about customers and be responsive to handle any issues during the travel, his interest levels to visit new places, ability to share info with the customers (& write or tell stories creatively).
    We need to evaluate -
    Visual + Spatial + Linguistic abilities + observation skills + inter-personal relationships + high auditory
    + high EQ (Emotional) + good CQ (Creativity) + good AQ (Adversity) + Problem solving skills.
    IQ (Intelligence) may not be a deciding factor, although it should be more than low/medium.
    Good relationship oriented leadership style + interest in Adventure + Social + excellent gross motor skills are key to this person ..

    The same tests could apply to many other profiles like - a convention manager, event planner, HR Manager, Advertising Director, Film & Photography.


    Say another student decides that building & Managing Complex Robotics system is his aspiration -
    The college would evaluate him on
    Logic+Mathematics + Linguistic to a certain extent + fine motor skills + interest in scientific/tech / Research
    + task oriented leadership style + very very detail oriented + good grasping skills + high visual
    + motivation to gain knowledge + very high IQ + good CQ + step by step worker
    EQ & AQ not a factor here, although they should not be low.
    This profile could also work as forensic scientists, cyber security, lawyers, economists, biotech, CA accountants and Data scientists...

    So I could go on about other careers, but you get the picture...

    To get the students to further understand their abilities & interests, they should start small internships at local spaces (schools should monitor the safety/security issues) from their 6th standard.
    Life skills, creativity, problem solving etc needs to get integrated into school syllabus.

    I know I'm being very idealistic ... and many "coaching centres" may even curse me!
    The syllabus till 10th is ok - beyond that, I feel people should only be taught those courses that they are actually going to use in their workspace.

    TL/DR - Education System should do a 360 deg evaluation of a student, explain it to him/parents, help a student find his destination and then evaluate him for college admission based on the parameters that would be useful for the career he has chosen.
    So the tests would be different for different kinds of career destinations.

    Hope I didn't deviate too much from your original question. But this is a small part of what I do everyday with students. This is the kind of guidance I provide to my students' parents.

    Keep smiling
    HR
     
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2021
  6. Hopikrishnan

    Hopikrishnan Gold IL'ite

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    I bet we'd all forgive. Your posts are so full of energy as well as information, you can post anything anywhere, and all will be well everywhere. You had also given fair warning of a tangent.

    I like Rihana's idea of clear cut admission cut-offs based on some manner of exam results. If the contestant didn't make the cut-off, under all the existing criteria, s/he should take a hike to the college where s/he makes the cut-off. The college doesn't have to bother with what is the candidate's aptitude for becoming an explorer or chef. The catalogue says what the college offers, for what price, and the parent/student buys that deal and competes for a slot. That is about the size of that.

    In college admissions abroad (in America, for example) the holistic approach invites corruption. The various ways students may get into a desirable college (nothing to do with Vocational Training that you seem to recommend) side stepping fair competition.

    However, all that evaluating this, measuring that, being holistic, comes in when the student seeks funding from a parent. The PARENT or whoever funds the investment scheme has to bother with whether or not it is the right thing to do. Can someone with low gross motor skills become a bus driver for a tourist operation ? -- is a consideration for the parent, as well as a tour company doing recruiting in a college for employees who would operate/manage tours, and break-a-leg (a theatrical phrase that means "the show must go on"... in spite of broken whatevers) when they had to step in, and be bus drivers.
     
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