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More employers using standardized test scores to evaluate applicants


Thursday, May 08, 2014

Most students think their experience with standardized test scores is complete once they have been accepted to college. However, recent college graduates are finding that they might need to supply their SAT or ACT results when interviewing for jobs as well.

Employers are asking for test scores
One of the latest trends in the hiring process is the use of standardized test scores as a factor for employment. Currently, many large companies are using SAT or ACT results as another way to distinguish a few select candidates from the thousands of applicants they have each year. The scores are most often used for recent graduates who don't have other credentials to fall back on.

"They're most valuable early in the process because we get tens of thousands of applications and we don't interview tens of thousands of people," Jennifer Comparoni, the head of recruiting in the Americas for the Boston Consulting Group, told The New York Times. "It can be a reasonable and useful proxy for some of things that we're looking for."

Comparoni also told The Wall Street Journal that while there is no minimum score applicants must have, they may have to explain lower figures. For example, prospective employees with weaker math scores may need to compensate by demonstrating related expertise or ability.

Do test scores really predict success?
There is a lot of debate about whether standardized test scores really predict success at the college level. The controversy extends to the use of the SAT on job applications. However, many of the companies that use the metric argue that they need some kind of data that compares applicants from different schools and backgrounds. Many of these job seekers are fresh out of college and lack work experience, leaving employers to come up with some out-of-the-box barometers of success, according to Time magazine.

With standardized test scores becoming more engrained in the college search and job search, high school students may feel even more pressure to do well on the exam. However, even companies using the scores when hiring acknowledge that there are other ways for candidates to stand out, underscoring the importance of extracurricular activities, internship experience and other types of engagement. 

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