I read an interesting article on the trend for “well educated” students to be increasingly book smart, and decreasingly worldly. (Link here) Frankly, I found the article to be a rather sad reflection of the authors unwillingness to re-evaluate their pre-conceived notions about what makes a good student.
Rhodes scholars are picked from the best of the best – using marks, leaderships and sports participation as the criteria for the picking the first crop, from which the finalists are chosen. In the past this might have worked – there were probably a lot of book smart students among those who applied, but were easily weeded out. However, as the number of eligible students increases, with selection criteria that will enrich for book smart students, it’s no wonder the trend they see is away from those who see the big picture. Getting perfect marks AND seeing the big picture are (in my humble opinion) let alone that and sports participation are not commonly found in the same people.
Anyhow, your milage may vary – but I think they’ve failed to grasp the big picture: Those who move the world generally aren’t going to fixate on perfect test scores. But, I supose if you’re only looking for the three or four per year, you’ll have to dredge through a lot of applicants to find the few who do meet the criteria – but then why complain that you have to look harder, as your pool gets larger and larger?