A growing number of colleges and universities are no longer considering SAT and ACT scores as they deal with the aftermath of the pandemic.
An increasing number of colleges and universities in the US are discarding SAT and ACT scores in their admission process. This big change follows various changes in collegiate systems due to COVID-19.
Participating in the abandonment of the SAT and ACT includes all UC schools, effectively making it the first test-blind collegiate system in the United States. Other schools that have decided to drop SAT and ACT scores include Northern Illinois University, Reed College in Oregon, Hampshire College in Massachusetts, Loyola University in New Orleans, the University of New England, and Washington State University.
If not test blind, a growing number of colleges will be “test-optional” which will consider SAT and ACT scores only if they are submitted, although many admission directors say the exam scores are recommended in order to make your application stand out.
Admissions staff points out a few reasons as to why they decided to drop SAT and ACT scores, the first being the scheduling problems caused by COVID-19. In the spring and summer of 2020, SAT and ACTs were canceled nationwide, making it impossible for students to take their exams in time for fall admissions.
But this change wasn’t brought about just because of covid. For years, many have questioned the morality of the exams altogether. They argue that the upper class can pay for SAT and ACT prep classes to get their score up, while many lower-class students cannot.
Additionally, according to the College Board, the SAT does not measure any innate ability. Therefore many colleges find the exams a poor indicator of whether or not a student will succeed in college.
But the decision to drop the SAT and ACT has faced major backlash from students, parents, and teachers. It has raised major concerns that high school teachers, particularly ones at wealthy private schools, may inflate their students’ grades if colleges begin to rely on GPA as a primary admissions factor.
However, others believe that it is a necessary change in order to renovate the admission process as a whole.
Overall, the ACT respects any college’s decision to go test blind and offers its help to schools developing different criteria evaluating potential students, says ACT’s interim chief Janet Godwin.
For any students apprehensive about the new stress on GPA, it is suggested that extra effort is placed on the admissions essay, as many colleges are looking for new ways to find students that stand out. So take advantage of the extra spotlight on your GPA and admission essay, by being creative with your application.