Suppose colleges and universities stopped using the SAT as part of their admission process into undergraduate school? Decades ago, Bates College and Bowdoin College eliminated the use of the test in the admission process, and now, nearly one-fourth of the top undergraduate schools in the USA no longer use the test. Why? Is the test unreliable? Does it not measure what colleges and universities are looking for in students who apply to their schools? Probably yes to each of these, but according to admissions directors, these are not the reasons.
In an article in the New York Times (August 31), writer Tamar Lewin states that “admissions officers said eliminating the testing requirement had increased both the size and diversity of their applicant pools, and bolstered their reputation as places personal enough to consider each applicant individually.” Lewin also pointed out that SAT scores are not good predictors of success in college.
Yet, high schools are obsessed with SAT score. In a Washington Post article, “As Scores Still Lag, Focus Put On SAT” Prince William County in Northern Virginia scored the lowest on the recent SAT tests in the region. Although not signifantly lower than the other districts, Prince William school officials are upset with the results, and determined to make sure the students’ scores are higher next time they take the test. One of the Asst. Superintendents said, “We are hoping to change our culture and attend more to the SAT.” School officials, like these in Northern Virginia, continue to beat themselves over the head because of State and Federal officials who seemlingly look ONLY at test scores as measure of success. Yet, at the same time, many colleges and universities are saying these tests are not good predictors of success, and in fact limit their ability to assess students that apply to their schools.Tags: Admission to college, SAT