In this country, there is a growing disagreement over the importance of standardized exams in college admissions. According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, over 1,800 schools in the United States do not require students to submit SAT or ACT scores.
During the epidemic, several of these policies were implemented. Then, last week, California’s state university system, the country’s biggest four-year school system, stated that the change would be permanent and that the examinations would no longer be taken into account. On the East Coast, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology said this week that one of the examinations will be required again.
Both actions are being taken in the name of access and equality. So, what should a befuddled high school junior do?
For decades, high school students have been filling up bubbles.
“We’ve been around since 1959,” said Janet Godwin, CEO of ACT, which administers the ACT exam. She said the test was created to help prospective college students, including veterans returning from war, demonstrate they were ready for college.
“It’s an objective, benchmarked set of information that students can use and educators can use — very different from a high school grade point average, for example, which is very subjective and very different from one district to another,” she said.
The notion is that because the test is standardized across the country, a high score might aid a kid who didn’t attend a particularly good high school.
Opponents of testing, such as Akil Bello of the charity National Center for Fair and Open Testing, argue that “the notion of the diamond in the rough being discovered by the test is a falsehood.”
According to Bello, students from wealthy families are more likely to perform well on these assessments. “The test is advantaging a particular group of students and disadvantaging the students that they’re claiming are helped by the test.”
College counselors are adjusting the way they communicate about test results as more colleges change how they view them.
“Testing was always part of the conversation, right? ‘Which one you taking? When are you’re going to take it?’” said Patrick Lorenzo, a college counselor with St. Ignatius College Preparatory, a private high school in San Francisco. “Now, the question becomes, ‘Do you want to take it?’ You don’t have to.”
According to Lorenzo, this offers pupils greater authority and allows other talents to show through on their applications.