Nationally, roughly 3.5 million students take the PSAT annually, and over 2 million students take the SAT. Both of these exams are massively stressful during the actual exam and for the following few weeks while scores are eagerly awaited.
Few students recognize an issue in the stigma revolving college-acceptance tests, but there really is a problem residing around the expectation to share.
If a student is eager to share their score and wants to confide in their friends or family, that is completely acceptable. However, if a student did poorly or did less than they would have liked, they should not be obliged to share that information.
We all know students who love to share their scores, and that’s great! It’s wonderful that students in the community are able to thrive in the test taking arena.
However, many students don’t feel like they need to share their scores, and it’s a variety of students who feel this way. It may be someone who is not a good test taker, or regardless of their score feel uncomfortable disclosing the information.
Many students feel pressured by their parents to succeed as well. Often, both parents got an exceptional score in high school and there’s a sort of legacy that students have to live up to. Often, there is lots of pressure to be the first person in the family to succeed or get into a good college, and sometimes kids just feel more comfortable keeping to themselves.
In reality, these scores are pretty important, but there’s so much talk revolving around them that sometimes people forget the significance. These tests are what colleges look at to decide if you are a good fit.
The truth is, this expectation exists after any big test. A calculus test, a language arts essay, or any AP exam is something that students are excited to learn their scores.
The biggest issue is the double standard that exists. If you do well on a test, you will be ridiculed for succeeding because you’re “too smart.” But if you didn’t happen to do so well, you will also be looked down upon because you “aren’t smart enough”
It’s not a realistic request to ask all students to keep their scores completely to themselves, because many people do enjoy sharing their scores. If someone wants to reveal their score, they will, but it’s unhealthy to force this information out of them.
It can be quite invasive when a student is asked multiple times “what did you get on the PSAT?” and to some, it’s not a big deal, but make sure the person you’re asking is ok with it. The information can be embarrassing and not something a student wants to share, and that is perfectly ok!
Mutual agreement is essential not just when discussing test scores, but regarding any information that someone might not just want to disclose. No matter how persuasive you think you may be, consider the fact that it’s a personal preference.
It comes down to the fact that if someone wants to share, they will, but don’t ridicule them or pester them about it. It’s a choice that each person gets to make when they do anything, basically, and it’s not an opportunity to tease or manipulate them until they tell you: respect their boundaries and recognize the fact that nobody is obliged to publicize their test scores.
The societal stigma of discussing scores is pretty strong, but no one is at fault. It’s fun to talk about scores, but we all have to remember that some people just don’t want to discuss that.