MIT reinstates ACT/SAT test requirement

No one would argue that a more complex test that emphasizes problem solving skills would be better for a school like MIT than one with many simple, multiple-choice questions. However, if such a test were able to be devised, wouldn’t those who oppose standardized testing be more up in arms about such a test?

Such tests would not be of interest to the biggest proponents of standardized tests in the US (the testing companies), since the market for such tests is too small to make setting up national and international testing infrastructure for them cost effective.

It was a hypothetical. I don’t think it’s realistic either.

Like with all tests, “better for a school like MIT” (or any school) really depends on

  1. What is MIT trying to learn from such a test?, and
  2. If such a test is required, would the students MIT is trying to reach even bother to apply?

If its goal is to identify and and accept only those students who have already been studying Calc+ for years and have mastered long, complex calculus questions, then such a test might be “better.” But if the goal is to identify potentially successful students from a broad segment of society with disparate levels of preparation, then such a test might worse.

And, perhaps more importantly in the context of this thread, if requiring such a test discouraged hard to reach, underrepresented students from even bothering to apply, then requiring such a test may be counter-productive.

To me that’s still the unanswered question with MIT moving back to the test requirement in a landscape while most other schools seem to be moving in the other direction. Giving marginalized, under-represented kids a chance to show their abilities is a laudable goal, but if the actual, real-world result is that less of these kids even bother applying, then it is for naught.

Given the admissions landscape today, and the entrenched misunderstanding about the necessity for “tippy-top” scores, I’m not sure that “recruitment” efforts will convince these kids to swim against the tide and apply.