The Ivy Coach Daily

June 9, 2021

Pitzer College Goes Test-Blind

Ivy Coach salutes Pitzer College for going test-blind (photo credit: Laurielosh).

We have long suggested on the pages of this college admissions blog that until a “test-optional” school goes test-blind (and, yes, the quotes are intentional), don’t believe admissions leaders at those institutions when they suggest that students with great scores enjoy no advantage over students with no scores. All else being equal, students with great test scores will always get in over students who don’t submit test scores. But test-blind? That’s the real deal. And Pitzer College, a school that touts itself as the first college on the west coast to have gone test-optional nearly two decades ago, is the real deal because the institution announced yesterday that they are going test-blind.

As Pitzer states on its website, “Pitzer College will switch to a test-blind admission policy for at least three years, beginning with the admission cycle for fall 2022. Pitzer’s College Council approved a three-year pilot phase for the policy in May. Being test-blind means scores from standardized college entrance tests—the SAT and ACT—will be eliminated from the admission review process entirely. With the previous test-optional policy, applicants could decide whether they wanted to submit SAT or ACT scores as part of their application package. In recent years, more than 40 percent of applicants who were admitted to Pitzer opted out of including standardized test scores. Pitzer’s three-year pilot for the test-blind policy will include an assessment of the policy’s impact on the applicant pool, admissions, demographic characteristics, and the goal to enhance equity and access, among other factors.”

Ivy Coach salutes Pitzer College for going test-blind. If a college wants to go test-blind, we’re all for it. But we will not now nor ever applaud “test-optional” colleges that claim to offer no advantage to students who submit great test scores. They’re not telling it like it is and the data that has been released this past year from “test-optional” schools (and the dearth of data released as well) bears out our claim. When other schools follow the lead of the trailblazing Pitzer College, we’ll give them a pat on the back. Until then, it’s all just virtue signaling.

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