More colleges should move towards being test-optional
Every year juniors and seniors across the country prepare to take the SAT, ACT and other standardized college entrance exams. For many students, these tests are a major source of stress because, for a lot of schools, the scores students receive is a deciding factor in admission. However, instead of measuring the merit of a student based on a single test, schools such as George Washington University, Wake Forest University and Hampshire College have reduced the impact of college entrance exams.
Wake Forest and George Washington Universities are some of the biggest schools to make the move to test optional. Wake Forest became test optional in 2009, because they felt that intelligence is more than test scores and that actual life experience counts for more. "It's about life experience, aspiration, work ethic, engagement and all of what makes you who you are." The decision by Hampshire College to take test-optional a step further by deciding not to accept SAT or ACT scores, was along the same lines as Wake Forest's decision. Hampshire believed that removing standardized testing would allow them to have a better class of applicants.
This policy encourages students who would not consider applying because of their test scores to apply because acceptance committees are able to look more at the applicant as a whole.
Many people will argue that the standardized testing is an invaluable piece in determining how a student will perform in institutions of higher learning. In actuality, while standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT can be helpful, GPA is a better indicator of success in school. Removing test scores and adding essays to the application has given students a better chance to present themselves as individuals
Nearly 800 schools across the country have moved to some form of test optional application and for good reason. By looking beyond the kids who aced their SATs, colleges can find a unique and diverse student body that deserves a fair chance at the school of their dreams.
Lauren Frost. Hi, My name is Lauren Frost and I am a junior at Blair. I play basketball and tennis. Other than sports I enjoy reading and watching movies. More »