More U.S. colleges dropping standardized testing requirements

BRAZIL, Ind. (WTHI) – Many high school students have a common fear of the SAT or ACT test. The numbers scored, could end up determining if they get accepted into the college they’ve been dreaming of.

However, more colleges and universities are taking a new approach to the admissions process.

More than 850 colleges and universities across the country no longer require the SAT or ACT test scores. They’re tests that challenge students in critical reading, mathematics, and writing.

“Our kids are kind of used to taking tests at this point in time, and they’re used to taking high stakes tests. So, I think our kids are really prepared for these types of tests. At the same, we want colleges to get a more well-rounded experience of what our kids have done,” said Northview High School Principal Chris Mauk.

Advocates of making tests optional say, it will help schools become more diverse. Those against the change argue it levels the playing field and gives a measure for scholarships. Mauk told News 10 he understands both sides, and hopes colleges take time to look at all aspects of a student’s education.

“They’re still going to look at their body of work, they’re going to look at their AP classes, their duel credit classes, their overall GPA and they’re going to get an overall sense of how our kids have done,” Mauk added.

Research shows the number of applications went up at schools who dropped test requirements. That’s according to the American Educational Research Association.

“I think if you use the SAT or ACT as one piece of the puzzle,” said Mauk, “I think that gives schools a more accurate assessment of what our kids can do.”

According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, more than two dozen schools have dropped the test requirement since 2014.

Mauk says, it’s no secret the tests give some students anxiety. “And you certainly don’t want them to be judged by one bad afternoon or one bad morning.”

The U.S. has more than 3,000 4-year colleges, many of which still require test scores. Giving students the option of what they want to do, to continue their education.

“It’s an opportunity for them to show what they know.”

For a full list of colleges that decided to drop standardized tests, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing click here.

>>Our sister station WTHI first reported this story

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