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About this blog: We are writing this blog to give practical advice to students and parents, to reflect on issues affecting college admissions, and to provide a platform for a robust community discussion on post-secondary choices. We occasionally f...  (More)

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Standardized testing may become a thing of the past

Uploaded: Aug 4, 2015
(Written by Lori McCormick)

The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) maintains a list of colleges and universities that do not use the SAT or ACT in their college entrance (admissions) review process.

While Fair Test has been around for several years, each year their list has increased, thus demonstrating there is a trend in colleges and universities foregoing standardized tests in their admissions process.

Last week, the notable George Washington University joined the ranks by removing the SAT or ACT requirement from their admissions process because they believe standardized tests are a barrier to recruiting disadvantaged students. Here is the full article.

To learn more about Fair Test and see the list of test-optional colleges, check out their website.
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 +   8 people like this
Posted by Common sense, a resident of Mountain View,
on Aug 7, 2015 at 10:13 am

Real policy decisions often require choosing among alternatives none of which is perfect or ideal.

The argument that standardized college-admission testing disadvantages students from some backgrounds is decades old. A standard counter-argument is that this complaint just blames the messenger, that this testing issue is just a symptom of a broader mismatch between those students' backgrounds and mainstream US academic culture. Presumably, some of the disadvantaged would still master the academic culture and excel, if given the chance.

But what about the separate problems created by lack of a uniform standardized measure? Colleges already struggle to conscientiously assess their applicants, in today's environment of high-school grade inflation, grasping parents, and cynical "gaming" of the admission process. Sure, a few small, flexible liberal-arts colleges will go for the idea. But it's rather a leap to speculate about this becoming the norm.

Please update us after Harvard, Stanford, MIT, Princeton, and the major state university systems have signed on.

 +   2 people like this
Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Aug 7, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Testing-Optional is not the same as "do not use the SAT or ACT." Most students still submit these exam results but not all. It would interesting to see the admissions rates of the "No Submitted Scores" group versus the other applicants. It's not a bad idea and there's a place for such applications but it's misleading to think these score are not helpful for the overwhelming majority of applicants.

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