by Laura Gonzalez
Let me ask you: what are you planning on doing in the future? I was probably six when my mom first asked me that question, and my answer was: “Mom, I want to be a construction worker.”
At six years old, I could totally picture myself doing that, but not anymore. I simply changed my mind as I grew older and knew more, as most everybody does.
Knowing what you want to become when you are just 18 is barely possible, for there are many options to choose from. However, in some countries like Spain, you are required to know your response before you start the application process.
In the US, you have more leisure time to chose what you want to pursue, for most colleges wait till sophomore year before you declare a major.
Imagine the pressure you are under if you are as indecisive as I am (I’ve been thinking about it for at least 4 years, I am still clueless and I need to decide by June). Something that I have learned during my stay in the United States is that almost nobody has a clear idea of what they are going to do in 10 years from now.
When I asked senior Marina Place, she said: “Psh no, I’ll probably experiment in college.”
Another important difference between the United States and Spain is the college admission test, the nightmare of most high school students worldwide.
SAT in the US, Selectividad in Spain, A levels in United Kingdom, they are all different depending on which country you are taking it in.
However, to me, they are equally as pointless. Designed to make it easier for universities and colleges to pick their next successful students, they tend not to measure your knowledge; instead, they grade your accuracy when taking a test with insufficient time limit. So, my next question is: Who made them up?
And if you think the SAT is hard, what would you say if instead of multiple options, you had to take a test based on a 100 page book where you have to answer every single question with your own words?
That’s what Selectividad consists of, 3 days in which you have to take an English test, a Spanish test, a Calculus test, a History or a Philosophy test. These are the mandatory ones; although, you have at least two more.
Junior Ally Melido said, “I would rather take four different tests that you can mess up on rather than the pressure of one big test.”
The tests last about two hours, and you can be scheduled to do them any time between 8 a.m and 7 p.m. This madness starts in the beginning of June, and you may wonder: how do we survive?
The key is in many cases: coffee, coffee in the morning, coffee at night, coffee 24/7.
Junior Molly Zuckerman said, “Now that I hear about Selectividad, the SAT sounds really good.”
Unlike the SAT, it’s important to understand that you take “la Selectividad” once in your life, if you don’t want to lose your spot in the university. Besides, it is crucial for you to get a really good grade on “Selectividad” because this is 40% of your GPA (more or less). The other 60% is the average of your grades during the junior and senior year.
Your GPA is just a number, a simple number: nevertheless, it is the only thing that matters to Spanish universities. No interview, no essay, none of those things are necessary– just a paper with your grades will give you the ticket to go to the university.
Which education is better? I don’t really know, but from my perspective, being interviewed before being accepted by an university makes the decision based on interests, hobbies and passions, not just on the GPA. In any case, I don’t know the rest of the Spanish population; however, I am going to study in the US.