All high school seniors face the dreaded time when they have to apply to colleges. A part of this process is taking one of the two standardized tests that col- leges use to measure intelligence: the SAT and the ACT. Colleges look to these tests as a way of measuring how smart a student is. While most colleges say that the scores on the SAT and ACT do not solely determine whether a student is accepted to a college, it is undeniable that these tests play a significant role in college applica- tions. The reason the SAT and the ACT exist is to provide colleges a simplified way of measuring the intelligence of prospective students. The problem is intelligence can be measured in different ways, not just in math and critical reading. This is why standardized tests are not a good way for colleges to measure student intelligence.
According to Howard Gardner, author of Frames of Mind, there are seven different ways to measure intelligence. Standardized tests show the linguistic and logical intelligence of a person through critical reading and math, but that ignores five other types of intelligence. Intelligence can also be classified as physical, spatial, musical, interpersonal, and intrapersonal. Bodily intelligence is a measure of how well people can work with their own body through activities such as sports and dancing. Spatial intelligence measures how well people can look through puzzles and work with abstract images. People with strong musical intelligence are very good listeners and work well with mak- ing sounds and beats through music. A person with interpersonal intelligence has amazing social skills and knows how to understand other people. Intrapersonal intelligence shows how well people can understand their own feelings.
With so many different types of intelligence, it is impossible for the SAT or the ACT to accurately measure how intelligent a person is. These tests cover less than one third of a person’s intelligence. If colleges want to determine how intelligent a person is, they cannot rely on a single type of examination to measure that intelligence.