Should/When Colleges be SAT optional?

<p>2 questions here: offer your opinion and educated guess</p>

<ol>
<li>Should colleges be SAT optional?</li>
<li>When do you think this happen or gain momentum?</li>
</ol>

<p>Lastly, if SAT is phased out, what becomes of college admissions? Almost the entire world has a college entrance examination for each country. The SAT is not really reflective of such; will testing just die out or will a new examination emerge?</p>

<p>There are currently over 700 sat optional schools.</p>

<p>The</a> National Center for Fair & Open Testing | FairTest</p>

<p>Thanks for that link. A lot on that list are small niche schools, not many big names, hence the lack of momentum currently</p>

<p>A new examination would emerge. Right now you have the option (at the majority of schools) of submitting the SAT or the ACT. That should be enough for "choice". </p>

<p>There needs to be some kind of examination- how else could you tell the difference between a 3.0 at an extremely difficult school and a 4.0 at an extremely easy school, unless they're very well known? It would be difficult and standardized testing acts as an equalizer. The SAT and ACT are definitely not perfect, but there should be some kind of nationalized test to test students against students from other high schools.</p>

<p>I also don't buy the bad-at-tests excuse. The ACT and the SAT are very different types of tests. If you do poorly on both of them, then I don't think it's the test's fault (and I say this scoring average-ish on the SAT but in the mid-30s on the ACT).</p>

<p>The ACT/SAT is all we have now in America. Both are not perfect, not even close. What i am mainly wondering is do you think they will phase out in the near future while another national test primarily dictates college admissions?</p>

<p>I've seen 4.0 high school students -- their level of knowledge is appalling and should barely be 2.0. GPA should not work, but it is what colleges use now.</p>

<p>The option of two tests is more than many, many countries have that require examinations.</p>

<p>"SAT optional" is kind of a wheeze anyway. It benefits the colleges that adopt it because it allows them to manipulate their reported SAT scores in venues such as USNWR. "Test optional" colleges attract some students who feel that their scores are not to their advantage, so they don't send them; the school doesn't have to report them in their averages. In the meantime, higher-scoring applicants to the same college will continue to send their scores, thus raising the reported SAT score. It's a win-win for everyone, but it doesn't exactly demonstrate a strong commitment to more holistic evaluation or the rejection of standardized testing.</p>

<p>At more prestigious test-optional schools, the high school transcript (rigor, courses taken, GPA) carries a great deal of weight. It's not as if these schools are going to start to accept less academically competitive students just because these applicants aren't submitting the SAT.</p>

<p>Remember that the SAT started out as a meritocratic device for unconnected kids from podunk schools to prove that they were intellectually capable. If you apply to a highly-ranked test-optional school without the SAT, you'd better have a really good record from a really good school. Otherwise it won't help you.</p>

<p>And many test optional schools with merit aid require either SAT or ACT for consideration of merit money.</p>

<p>Unless some sort of uniform high standard can be applied to all high schools in the US (as it is in Canada), selective colleges will want some sort of common measurement that can be used on applicants from different high schools.</p>

<p>Under the current system of local and state determined curricula and grading standards, the lack of any standardized testing (even standardized tests as lacking as what we have now) would likely result in even greater high school grade inflation and course title inflation. This would lead to many more students with impressive-looking high school records failing as soon as they get to college. As it is now, AP and IB may be the only incentive for many school systems to offer rigorous high school courses (of course, leaving non-AP non-IB students with low-rigor courses and poor education behind their diplomas).</p>

<p>Unfortunately, going to a Canada-like system of uniform high standards may be politically difficult in the US, due to the tradition of local control and the political wars over some course content like evolution, Thomas Jefferson, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, etc..</p>

<p>I don't really have a problem with standardized testing as it does level the playing field in the sea of all the different high school curriculum, grading, GPA calcuations... but I would advocate it be administered once and done. Our state uses the ACT for all high school juniors as part of the NCLB and many kids take that plus perhaps one sitting of the national test and are completed. The concept of score choice and prepping, practicing and taking it multiple times could be stopped but alas there is no impetus for colleges or for the testing companies to put any kind of constraints in place. The time the kids spend prepping, practicing and sitting for 3 hours of testing can be much better spent on other educational pursuits.</p>

<p>^ I agree with that. The amount of prepping done for tests is ridiculous. I didn't even know people studied for those tests until I came to CC (and even when I learned, I never studied for the SAT/ACT- there was just never enough time... and frankly, I was too lazy even if there was).</p>

<p>One and done won't stop students from test-specific studying and preparation -- it might actually make the practice more common, since it raises the stakes for the one chance every student has.</p>

<p>Even though I don't love the Regents exams in NY, at least they aren't solely multiple choice and they test you in a wide variety of subjects that are critical for determining whether you are prepared for college. I never understood why the California Regents first promoted the subject tests and then backed away from it.</p>

<p>At more prestigious test-optional schools, the high school transcript (rigor, courses taken, GPA) carries a great deal of weight. It's not as if these schools are going to start to accept less academically competitive students just because these applicants aren't submitting the SAT."</p>

<p>I have been AMAZED (and appalled) by the number of students in the "honors" track who score in the 400s (and in a few cases, even the 300s) on the SAT. Likewise, students in AP level classes earning B+ or better, who never take the AP exam or earn grades of 2 that are never reported (either b/c they take the classes senior year or b/c the hs does not post AP grades on the trascript).</p>

<p>SAT/ACT/AP are admittedly imperfect instruments, there has to be some "equalizer."</p>

<p>Yes, of course there is a lot of variation in the quality of schools, and "honors level" can mean absolutely nothing. That's why I specified "really good school" that is known by the admissions reps. If you go to a mediocre unknown school and have an okay record, and do not submit scores, you are still unlikely to be accepted at a prestigious "test optional" school.</p>

<p>*I also don't buy the bad-at-tests excuse. The ACT and the SAT are very different types of tests. If you do poorly on both of them, then I don't think it's the test's fault (and I say this scoring average-ish on the SAT but in the mid-30s on the ACT). *</p>

<p>I agree. I think that many with high GPAs, but low test scores, are attending schools with grade inflation or just aren't taking a challenging courseload. If a person were truly "bad at tests" then they wouldn't do well on classroom tests, midterms, and final exams at their high school either. </p>

<p>I doubt that many more schools are going to be test-optional without some other means to compare students. These days, too many kids are applying with 3.8+ GPAs....test scores help separate the men from the boys.</p>

<p>If schools eliminate the need to submit test scores, then things like AP scores might end up counting for more.</p>

<p>part of the reason i brought this up is that the SAT/ACT are pretty poor at measuring anything and i figure eventually they will be replaced by something else that hopefully is an improvement</p>

<ol>
<li><p>No, I don't think schools should become SAT-optional.</p></li>
<li><p>I can't see it happening, to be honest.</p></li>
</ol>

<p>
[quote]
part of the reason i brought this up is that the SAT/ACT are pretty poor at measuring anything...

[/quote]
</p>

<p>Source, please?</p>

<p>(before you spend time trying to validate your SWAG (the military version), I'll give you a hint: the Univ of California studied thousands of students over several years and found that the SAT was almost as good as HS gpa for predicting Frosh grades.)</p>

<p>


</p>

<p>Do you mean this study?
CSHE</a> - Validity Of High-School Grades In Predicting Student Success Beyond The Freshman Year: High-School Record vs. Standardized Tests as Indicators of Four-Year College Outcomes</p>

<p>They found that high school grades > SAT subject tests > SAT reasoning test in terms of predicting college grades. Note that the math tests for both subject and reasoning had no predictive value over the entire student body, although that could be due to students with worse math scores choosing less/no math majors.</p>