Admit it: If you took the GMATs post-high school versus post-college without studying, you’d probably perform better as an 18-year-old.
High school students learn everything from calculus to AP biology on a daily basis. College is meant to fine-tune skills within specific majors.
There’s a discussion going on over at The New York Times questioning the legitimacy of the college experience. Studies have shown that undergrads don’t study or write very much. Now, a new controversial book has found that not much is learned during the first two years at a university at all.
So, does college actually makes you smarter in the end?
“Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses” is written by two professors at NYU and UVA who conclude a definitive, “No.” They followed 2,300+ undergraduates at 24 universities and found “45 per cent of these students demonstrate no significant improvement in a range of skills—including critical thinking, complex reasoning, and writing—during their first two years of college.”
Their overall finding coincides with the National Survey of Student Engagement, which studied 2 million students across 1,000 universities and found most spent little time studying and writing.
It’s worth noting that the professors did not measure how much students learned in their chosen undergraduate majors, so perhaps college makes you smarter in a specific field, but not overall.
This isn’t the first time a college degree has been disputed. Check out these other studies:
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