right arrow
Examples: Monday, today, last week, Mar 26, 3/26/04

Has College Gotten Too Easy?

1NJParent1NJParent 1371 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
From The Atlantic:
Time spent studying is down, but GPAs are up.
https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2019/07/has-college-gotten-easier/594550/
115 replies
· Reply · Share
«13456

Replies to: Has College Gotten Too Easy?

  • CorinthianCorinthian 1788 replies62 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I read the article. The title is a bit misleading and click-baity (which seems to be par for the course for the Atlantic lately). The main focus of the article is on graduation rates and the difficulty of figuring out why many schools continue to have poor graduation rates especially when GPA's are going up. The upshot of the article is that there's no one single explanation (and no single fix) for poor graduation rates.
    · Reply · Share
  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 7278 replies56 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I don't know. My D is working her tail off. One course alone met 9 hours/week and her project team met additionally at least 20 hrs/week. Again, for one class. She had 4 others.

    My H who also was an engineering major, back in the stone ages, said she's working more than he did.
    · Reply · Share
  • calmomcalmom 20590 replies167 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    @ucbalumnus -- your post sure brings back memories! I took an intro to computer science class in ~1973 (???). Very basic stuff -- but the programs we wrote involved punch card. After figuring out the program and punching the card, then I'd go to the computer room and stick the card(s) in a slot in this huge machine on one side of the room, and wait. The machine would click and whirr for a few minutes, and then clatter, clatter, clatter - my results would come out on a huge sheet of green & white striped paper from a printer on the other side of the room.
    · Reply · Share
  • rickle1rickle1 1938 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^ we didn't have the punch cards in 82 / 83 but we had very limited computer lab availability. You were actually assigned a time where you could use the computers in the library. Mine was Thursday night from 10 pm to 1am. That was it. If you couldn't get the project done, too bad, so sad! Really got in the way of happy hour (actually not!) Glad i took that class pass / fail.
    · Reply · Share
  • makemesmartmakemesmart 1486 replies14 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    So the hardest parts of college are getting in AND getting out. SMH and LOL.
    · Reply · Share
  • NASA2014NASA2014 2332 replies129 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Grade inflation is the answer here.
    · Reply · Share
  • privatebankerprivatebanker 5273 replies77 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    And back in the old days we walked to class in waist deep snow uphill - both ways.

    I disagree that it’s easier. But it’s impossible to know without a time machine.
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2953 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    Employers seem to have much less confidence in the college degrees awarded now. Most of my young friends have been asked to take some type of test (writing, or math skills) or to provide standardized test scores in connection with their employment applications.
    · Reply · Share
  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1371 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    ^Yes, while colleges have been de-emphasizing test scores and testing in general, top employers, especially those in certain areas of high tech and financial services, have increasingly been using their own proprietary tests, and/or asking applicants for their standardized test scores, for both internships and regular jobs.
    · Reply · Share
  • websensationwebsensation 2107 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 23
    I don't know about other schools, but my kid is studying and pursuing his ECs very diligently at Stanford. I don't know about grade inflation, but this does not mean they don't study hard. According to my kid, most students there study very hard and are challenged. They talk about "duck syndrome", which is looking calm and in control while underneath, they are furiously pedaling to stay afloat. Our kid went to a competitive high school and didn't study as hard as he is doing at Stanford. As an example, he rarely stayed up past 11:30 PM to study during high school, but he often stays past 2 or even 3 AM to study at Stanford especially during certain periods.
    Now, when I went to a top 15 college, I rarely studied more than 1 hour per day, and as a result, I was content to graduate with 2.9 GPA after having changed my major 5 times. And I studied even less during high school. Therefore, based on my own experience, I have to disagree with OP.
    edited July 23
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78248 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 24
    1NJParent wrote: »
    ^Yes, while colleges have been de-emphasizing test scores and testing in general, top employers, especially those in certain areas of high tech and financial services, have increasingly been using their own proprietary tests, and/or asking applicants for their standardized test scores, for both internships and regular jobs.

    From what I have seen, computer companies are not interested in scores from standardized tests like SAT, ACT, etc.. But interviewers may give computing related questions to check applicants' claimed skilled.

    But is Wall Street more likely to want to see SAT scores (implicitly suggesting that what one did while in high school is still important even if you are a college graduate)?
    edited July 24
    · Reply · Share
  • 1NJParent1NJParent 1371 replies35 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 24
    From what I have seen, computer companies are not interested in scores from standardized tests like SAT, ACT, etc.. But interviewers may give computing related questions to check applicants' claimed skilled.

    But is Wall Street more likely to want to see SAT scores (implicitly suggesting that what one did while in high school is still important even if you are a college graduate)?

    Let me clarify a bit. For internships, application to every one of the top-tier companies seems to ask for standardized test scores, but for regular jobs, only some do. Not sure why they think the test scores are still important. Perhaps as a proxy for IQ, even though the correlation isn't as strong as it used to be?
    edited July 24
    · Reply · Share
  • roycroftmomroycroftmom 2953 replies39 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 24
    They ask for standardized test scores (or their own 6 hour coding test, for tech firms) because they are indicia of relevant skills for the job. If you have more recent scores than SATs, such as GMATS or GREs, those are often accepted as well. Many finance jobs require solid and rapid quantitative ability and mental math skills, as evidenced by high scores. Similarly, many corporations have implemented writing tests for applicants, particularly for communications type jobs. A college degree, even from a top college, is not indicative of sufficient math or verbal ability for some types of entry level jobs, employers believe. Several top firms require all scores within the last 10 years, and I've seen it asked of those in their thirties.
    edited July 24
    · Reply · Share
  • OHMomof2OHMomof2 12881 replies242 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I'm in my 50s and was asked to take a coding test as part of an interview process. I don't think it has much to do with "kids today".
    · Reply · Share
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 6648 replies140 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    One thing no one has mentioned is the ready availability of answers to homework problems on the internet. For many of my students, doing their physics homework consists in typing in the question and writing down the answer (or cutting and pasting it if they go that route). Of course, this does not lead to better grades, since they don't learn from these exercises, but it sure makes things easier than they were for us back in the day. It's a demoralizing problem for the faculty to have to deal with.
    · Reply · Share
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff 4243 replies17 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    I think you need to take major into account. Don't think my son or his friend's would say his engineering is easy. As stated, it's easier to get things done like research, paper writing etc due to technology and I don't think that's a bad thing. By the time I had to get dressed, get my things together, walk about a mile to the library, look up what I needed and actually found the book, if it was actually there.... Today the paper could of been written.. Lol.. 📄😉.
    · Reply · Share
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 78248 replies690 threadsRegistered User Senior Member
    edited July 24
    They ask for standardized test scores (or their own 6 hour coding test, for tech firms)

    Having your own tests of skills relevant to the job is different from relying on high school standardized tests.
    A college degree, even from a top college, is not indicative of sufficient math or verbal ability for some types of entry level jobs, employers believe.

    That suggests that employers do not really believe what many say here about elite colleges, which is that even "hooked" admits are highly qualified at least to the "average excellent" level (including, but not limited to, test scores).

    Also, do they note the difference between heavy core curriculum / general education colleges like MIT versus open curriculum colleges like Brown or Amherst, for this purpose when deciding whether a college degree indicates sufficient math or verbal ability?
    Several top firms require all scores within the last 10 years, and I've seen it asked of those in their thirties.

    That may also cause a selection effect in favor of those who had advantages while in high school (e.g. more access to test preparation), and against those who took non-traditional paths (transfer) who may have no or poor high school standardized test scores. But perhaps that is the intent.
    edited July 24
    · Reply · Share
Sign In or Register to comment.

Recent Activity