The Dominate Test Prep Podcast

50. What Good Are Standardized Tests Anyway? [Mailbag]

September 22, 2021 Brett Ethridge / Dominate Test Prep
The Dominate Test Prep Podcast
50. What Good Are Standardized Tests Anyway? [Mailbag]
Show Notes

Be honest. Do any of these sentiments about standardized tests resonate with you?

  • "Standardized tests are pointless."
  • "I'm so much more than my test score."
  • "I know I'm smart, I'm just not a good test taker."
  • "Studying for this exam is ruining my life."
  • "Can't I show my readiness some other way?"
  • Or, as one person commented on our YouTube channel: "The GRE is stupid!"

Whatever your beliefs about the standardized test you're preparing for, at some point you've likely questioned why you have to take it in the first place. In this episode, we address this concern head-on.

In addition to sharing several of the most important reasons your target schools require you to take a standardized test for admission, we suggest a more constructive way of thinking about your exam altogether. Having a positive mindset matters. We want to shift your thinking about your test so that you attack it as the opportunity it is. As the great Jim Rohn said, "Don't wish it were easier, wish you were better." Enjoy!


In this episode we reference validity studies demonstrating the usefulness of standardized tests for predicting future success in the classroom. Here are links for several of the most common exams if you'd like to dive deeper.

  1. [GRE] Validity Evidence: Predicting Success in Graduate Education
  2. [GMAT] Predicting Student Success in Quantitative Masters Programs: A Meta-Analysis
  3. [LSAT] Predictive Validity of the LSAT: Summary of 2017, 2018, and 2019 LSAT Correlation Studies
  4. [SAT] Validity of the SAT for Predicting First-Year Grades and Retention to the Second Year


If you enjoyed this episode, we encourage you to check out these other similar episodes of The Dominate Test Prep Podcast:

  1. Episode 44: Tangential Benefits of a High Test Score
  2. Episode 42: GMAT vs. GRE for MBA Admissions
  3. Episode 41: SAT vs. ACT for College Admissions
  4. Episode 25: How to Find the Motivation to Study


God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, 
courage to change the things I can, 
and wisdom to know the difference.

— Serenity prayer, by Reinhold Niebuhr

Connect with Us

Questions? Comments? Email us at