Jonathan Pelto writes that Rhode Island may impose the SAT as a high school exit examination, despite the fact that the SAT was not designed for this purpose. One of the most basic rules of the testing industry is that tests should be used only for the purpose for which they were designed. The SAT was not designed to be a high school exit exam. The SAT, like all standardized tests, is tightly correlated with family income. Studies continue to show that grade-point-average is a better predictor of college academic performance than the SAT. Back in the old days, before standardized testing became a major industry, the test developers would warn districts and states not to misuse the tests.
Meanwhile, growing numbers of colleges and universities no longer require that applicants for admission submit standardized test scores, neither the SAT nor the ACT.
HALF OF “TOP 100” LIBERAL ARTS COLLEGES DO NOT REQUIRE ACT/SAT
SCORES FROM ALL OR MANY APPLICANTS;
MORE THAN 240 “TOP TIER” SCHOOLS IN 2017 U.S. NEWS GUIDE
NOW HAVE TEST-OPTIONAL OR TEST-FLEXIBLE ADMISSIONS POLICIES
A record number of colleges and universities now have test-optional admissions policies. Half of the national liberal arts schools ranked in the “Top 100” by the recently published U.S. News “Best Colleges” guide do not require all or many applicants to submit ACT or SAT scores. The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) released the new tally.
“Top 100” liberal arts colleges with test-optional policies include Bowdoin, Smith, Wesleyan, Bates, Bryn Mawr, Holy Cross and Pitzer. Test-flexible policies, which allow applicants to submit scores from exams other than the ACT or SAT, such as Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate results, are in place at Middlebury, Colby, Hamilton and Colorado College.
U.S. News ranks more than 240 test-optional and test-flexible colleges and universities in the top tiers of their respective categories, according to FairTest. For example, the top three regional universities in the north, Providence College, Fairfield University, and Loyola University, are test-optional. So is the number two university in the south, Rollins, the third ranked school in the Midwest, Drake, and Mills College, fifth ranked among western regional universities.
Bob Schaeffer, FairTest Public Education Director, explained the new tally. “Admissions offices increasingly recognize that they do not need ACT or SAT scores to make good decisions. That’s why more than 70 schools have adopted test-optional policies in the past three years. We are particularly pleased by the sharp growth at both selective liberal arts colleges and access-oriented institutions.”
Schaeffer continued, “The test-optional surge gives applicants more control in the admissions process. Teenagers regularly tell us that they are attracted to schools where they will be treated as ‘more than a score.’”
Overall, more than 870 colleges and universities are test-optional for all or many applicants (http://fairtest.org/university/optional). The test-optional pace accelerated after the “redesigned” SAT was unveiled (http://www.fairtest.org/sites/default/files/Optional-Growth-Chronology.pdf).
– FairTest’s new list of top-tier colleges and universities that de-emphasize the ACT and SAT: