In the academic world test scores are highly coveted—too highly coveted, I think—as the ultimate measure of a student’s past accomplishments, and are even depended upon for predicting a student’s learning potential for the future. In reality, though, test scores are only one tool among many for measuring academic accomplishment. There are other, perhaps more accurate tools for determining students’ progress; nonetheless, scores from tests such as the ACT and SAT are the main currency that the academic world (especially colleges) trades in presently.

Because this is the world we live in, we must not be unmindful of test scores. As much as we classical educators may like to say, forget the grades and scores, and focus on learning, in the end, the test scores matter when it comes to getting along in this world. That will be true for the foreseeable future. One might wonder how a classical education, rooted in the western liberal arts tradition with its ancient literature and “dead” languages, can prepare students for standardized tests such as the ACT and SAT. The answer is, very well.

The Association of Classical Christian Schools released data from 2015 comparing the SAT scores of four types of schools: ACCS, Independent, Religious, and Public. We included Trinitas’s average SAT scores in the table for comparison.

sat-chart

In this age of heavy focus on STEM where classes are custom made to prepare students for the ACT, SAT, and college afterwards, parents sometimes wonder if a classical education can possibly prepare their students for the next step as well as a modern education might. The answer is clear. Put your fears to rest. The fact is, classically trained students are receiving an outstanding education that not only gives them a profound understanding and appreciation for truth, goodness, and beauty, but also equips them to academically outperform their modern-educated counterparts by their own standards. If test scores are the currency the rest of the world is trading in, the data suggests that classically trained students will go into the world with full pockets.

Mr. Ron Gilley