Colleges Shifting to Test Optional

Test Optional Colleges, Test Optional Schools, SAT Optional Universities

“Bloomberg” has a piece today on how more schools are becoming test-optional.

There is a piece up on “Bloomberg” today (oh Michael Bloomberg, won’t you please enter this presidential race?) by Sarah Grant entitled “Will the College Admissions Test Disappear?” that we figured we’d share with the readers of our college admissions blog. The answer, of course, is that the college admissions test — the SAT or ACT — will not disappear, even as more and more schools become test-optional. The most selective schools in America, including each of the eight Ivy League institutions, are of course not by any means test-optional.

As Grant points out, “Since 2004, 145 colleges have joined the ranks of schools that deem tests like the SAT, or its competitor, the ACT, optional for admission, including Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn.; Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, N.C.; and George Washington University in D.C.” And these are certainly some very good schools indeed. But remember folks, just because a school is test-optional doesn’t mean they still wouldn’t love to see a great SAT or ACT score. Brown University, as an example, doesn’t require the SAT Subject Tests if you submit an ACT score. Does that mean submitting 3 800 SAT Subject Tests won’t help you in any way? Of course it’ll help you!

The piece by Grant goes on to say, “Just because some schools are making standardized testing optional doesn’t mean students won’t take the SAT or ACT. ‘Students are applying to upwards of 15 schools, and one of them is bound to require a test,’ said Bob Schaeffer, a director at FairTest, an advocacy organization dedicated to preventing the misuse of standardized tests. And some schools, including Colorado College and Bryn Mawr College, are test-flexible, meaning that only students who earn a certain grade-point average can decide whether to submit a standardized test. Since students usually take college entrance exams in their junior year and apply to colleges during senior year, those looking to keep their options open will likely sign up for at least one exam.”

In other words, unless you intend to pigeonhole yourself into applying to a select subset of colleges, take the SAT or ACT. And we don’t envision this changing anytime soon — no matter what the Harvard Graduate School of Education may say in their lengthy but largely unread reports. Sorry, Harvard GSE, but you’re an easy target.

While you’re here, read the truth behind test-optional colleges.


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