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Advice on College Admission, Standardized Testing from Michelle Obama

Students at Denver’s South High School played host to First Lady Michelle Obama this past Monday.  Students asked the First Lady about standardized tests, getting into college, and her advice to them as they enter the world as adults.

Here’s a snippet from the Denver Post article that reported on her visit.

The Princeton University graduate, in town for a day of mentoring, also let some of the students at South High School in on a secret: She never performed “great” on standardized tests. Straight A’s, student government, sports, teacher recommendations and her essays are what led her to the Ivy League.

But while Obama said she didn’t consider the tests a good indicator of future success, she told the students that they are “part of the system” and need to be taken seriously.

And she urged them to focus on the thing they have most control over: their grades.

“Fundamentally, the difference between an A and a B oftentimes is in your own hands,” she said, responding to a student’s question about whether it was fair to use test scores as the measure of school performance when many kids can’t speak English.

You can also view a video of her Q&A session, including some remarks about going to standardized tests at South High School.

Mark Montgomery
College Counselor


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