Millsaps College is an excellent academic institution and produces excellent graduates. These graduates are as a general rule more polished writers and inspired thinkers than their counterparts graduating from other institutions. This is made clear by the fact that Millsaps graduates constantly distinguish themselves as among the top students in various graduate programs across the country. However, I do not believe Millsaps College places enough students in truly elite graduate programs. I further believe that this is a direct result of our graduates not scoring as highly on standardized entrance exams as they should given the quality of their undergraduate education. I realize that part of the reason Millsaps graduates are such good writers and broad thinking individuals is that at Millsaps, students take essay exams, and as a current law student, I am thankful for that experience. However, standardized entrance exams are not essay based, they are multiple choice, they have one correct answer to each question and they do not give the opportunity to explain why you believe option "D" is the correct answer. These two styles of testing are complete opposites, and to some extent truly at odds with one another.
As a result, I believe that Millsaps students are put at a disadvantage on standardized exams, score lower than they should as a result and are not placed in top tier graduate programs. All of that said, my suggestion is that Millsaps some how incorporate a course to teach standardized testing techniques, or integrate multiple choice style tests into the testing methods used by Millsaps professors. If we can make our graduates feel more at home with this type of exam then hopefully they will score higher on entrance exams, be accepted to highly ranked graduate programs in various fields, excel in these programs as a result of their Millsaps education and we will all be the better for it. Lastly, the effectiveness of such a strategy will be readily measurable through obtaining data on current and prior standardized test scores among Millsaps students and graduates and comparing those to the scores received after a period of multiple choice training, for lack of a better term. Objective scores are easily measurable and easily tracked. I do realize suggesting that Millsaps incorporate multiple choice tests into the curriculum is probably viewed as high treason by some and for that I apologize in advance.
Contact person: Cory Williamson
For a PDF of the proposal, click here.
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