SAT scores and GPAs are much of what make or break a college application. And yet, over the course of my years in the Yale admissions office, I found myself continually surprised by how many of the students we accepted had sky-high SAT scores but seemed to lack basic practical and creative skills, whereas others with more modest scores were stunning successes at Yale, both academically and personally.
Many students who appear to have tremendous potential at age 17, based on their SAT scores and GPAs, don't look so wonderful 20 years later.
Many of the major messes confronting us today - in corporate boardrooms and on Wall Street, in politics and even in churches - have been created by people who tested very well and earned high grades at prestigious institutions. They are smart, but foolish. The world might improve if we deliberately and systematically selected students not only for their knowledge and analytical skills, but also for their creative and practical skills - and their wisdom.