US: Standardized testing restored for 2024-2025 admissions

US Standardized testing restored for 2024-2025 admissions

After four years of test-optional college admissions, SAT and ACT scores will be restored as an obligatory requirement for certain colleges beginning with the 2024-25 applications cycle to better precisely evaluate candidates, according to Stanford Professor of Economics Caroline Hoxby.

Only a few colleges have reinstated the exam requirement, but they include major players in higher education such as MIT, Dartmouth, and Georgetown. Recently, the University of Texas at Austin and Brown University joined the list, and the University of North Carolina is exploring it. Yale will likewise require standardized test results, however, Advanced Placement examinations can be used instead of college admission exams.

“We expect, on a very firm evidentiary basis, that making the SAT optional will cause selective colleges to enroll fewer students from disadvantaged backgrounds,” Hoxby said.

According to The New York Times, after COVID-19 prohibited students from taking standardized exams and highlighted equity issues over access to standardized testing, schools decided to make submitting SAT and ACT scores voluntary.

Long before the epidemic, critics said that the assessments unfairly favored more wealthier children who could afford assistance. And it is true that scores are strongly tied to family income. However, the suspension in testing allowed universities to do more in-depth research on the issue. They discovered that SAT scores were extraordinarily accurate at predicting whether pupils would succeed in college.

In an email, Jesse Rothstein, the Carmel P. Friesen Chair of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley, stated that standardized testing reveals wider socioeconomic gaps among candidates than other admissions considerations.

“Racial and socioeconomic gaps on the SAT are larger than on other available admissions measures,” according to Rothstein. “Most notably, high school GPA.”

Athletes continue to have an advantage in terms of acceptability, and not only in popular high school sports like football and soccer. Golf, equestrian, fencing, gymnastics, and crew are among the sports in which families must pay for their children to compete, and these athletes also receive preferential consideration in college applications.

According to sophomore Nathan Mourrain, these institutions’ actions have created debate and conversations across the country owing to their ramifications.

“Standardized tests are a huge topic of discussion in the academic community right now,” Mourrain said in a statement. “It definitely favors some while not favoring others, and it’s really hard to find a universal agreement.”

In response to these concerns, certain institutions, like the University of California system and Caltech University, which will permanently ban the opportunity to submit test scores in 2021, have lobbied for other means of assessing student abilities, according to a CalMatters article. This includes comprehensive admissions practices that consider variables other than standardized test scores.

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