YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Nearly 80% of U.S. bachelor degree-granting colleges and universities are not requiring the ACT or SAT scores from students enrolling in fall 2022.
According to fairtest.org, that number is an all-time. And it’s not just public universities. Colleges such as Columbia, Cornell, Stanford and Tufts are among those that are moving to test-blind or test-optional requirements.
Test-blind schools will not consider standardized test scores at all while test-optional schools will consider the scores, but there are other paths to admission without them.
For instance, at Youngstown State University, students must have an ACT score of at least 17 or a composite SAT score of 920, however, they have a test-optional admission policy approved through September 2023 that in the absence of testing scores or those that fall below the requirement, students will be evaluated on academic performance or core curriculum in lieu of test scores.
Called into question is the effectiveness of the testing. According to fairtest.org, schools that do not require the test scores reported better academically-qualified applicants and a more diverse pool of applicants.
The College Board, which administers the SAT test, stopped offering subject tests and the optional SAT essay. It said the changes were made to “reduce the demand on students” and that subject tests are “no longer necessary for students to show what they know.”
Many believe the ACT and SAT tests are flawed. Rob Granek, editor-in-chief of the Princeton Review said that the SAT is not a good or fair test.
“Its efficacy as a predictor of college readiness has been challenged by researchers and college admission officers alike,” he said.
Many of the universities have set testing optional or test-blind policies for the 2022-2023 admission year, but many believe the move will become standard policy.
The tests are not likely to go away, though. Students seeking admission will still be able to use them as part of their portfolio for admission, along with other accomplishments in high school, but test scores are likely to become less of a focus in the admission process.