Alphabet Tests

Have you ever wondered why a graduation is called a commencement exercise? The dictionary defines commencement as a beginning, yet in the graduate’s mind it usually connotes an end to classroom sessions and seat work, arduous homework and exams.

And rightly speaking, it is the beginning of a new chapter in your young life, where key choices are to be made by you – and not by your friends and relatives – such as what course to take, what college to go to and other important decisions that in the end will define your future.

Not all these career choices are there for easy picking.  Each step of the process, from the time you graduate from high school to the time you finish college, is spiked by challenges that come in what some people call “alphabet tests”, specifically SAT, GMAT, MCAT, and LSAT.

But if you seriously took to heart the lessons you learned in high school and followed your calling based on your aptitude and God-given skills, they will not really be as daunting as you think. Those mean-looking alphabets are nothing more than just assessment tests to determine your degree of preparedness for the course you want to pursue.

But before we go any farther, let’s briefly go over what they mean:

SAT – The SAT Reasoning Test is a standardized test to determine your readiness for college admission in the United States. Scores obtained in SAT measure a high school graduate’s reading and writing skills needed in college. They also assess ability to analyze problems and solve them.

GMAT – The Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT) is a computer-based post-college exam to measure your degree of mastery of mathematics and English. It is designed to assess your ability to succeed in graduate business studies like MBA or Master of Accountancy, in the US and in some other English-speaking countries.

MCAT – The Medical College Admission Test is another computer-based standardized examination for college graduates wishing to take up Medicine in the US and Canada. The test is designed to assess your ability for problem-solving, critical thinking, writing skills, and knowledge of scientific fundamentals.

LSAT – In the United States, Canada, and Australia, it is not enough that you finish college to qualify as a law student. You need to take and pass the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) to measure your reading comprehension and verbal reasoning skills, which you would need in great measure as law student.

Let’s face it. Not all of us are cut out to be lawyers or physicians, but everyone has the potential to be the best in what he does. In high school, I had always been known as a writer, not as mathematician. If I had taken a course in engineering, then I would have been a mediocre engineering student, and that is certainly not the kind of reputation anybody wants to establish for himself.

Even if I did insist I wanted to take up engineering, the exam results from SAT would have shown that I do not have aptitude or talent for engineering and the test would invariably confirm that I would make a better writer or communicator. Alphabet tests have been designed not to ruin your career plans, but rather to guide you in your choice of a college degree and a future career, where you are likely to find success and fulfillment.