test optional colleges
It was supposed to be a quiet week in college admissions, but a story was rumbling beneath the typical spring headlines of "Colleges Receive Record Apps" last week that, if left unchecked, could trash the serene summer of many a rising senior--and it all has to do with guessing.
You won't find our college in the U.S. News & Word Report "Best Colleges" rankings released this month. Last year Hampshire College decided not to accept SAT/ACT test scores from high school applicants seeking admission.
A Short, Thumb-nail Sketch of What's Going on With College Admissions Testing: The "New" SAT and "Old" ACT
For the Class of 2016-2017 (current sophomores) colleges and universities will be accepting the new SAT, but many have not yet decided whether they will continue to accept the old one. Oh boy!
Not all good students are good test takers, particularly under stress, and taking a test that can grant you entry or deny you access can certainly be stressful.
Mission, rather than money, ought to be the basis for thoughtful decision-making as colleges recruit and enroll those students who will most benefit from studying within a school's particular academic model.
No college requires applicants to take both the SAT and ACT. Whether you need to take Subject Tests is a little more complicated; see below for the answer to that question.
Last week a study that raises questions about the value of standardized test scores as a predictor of college success was released. My hope is that the findings will launch a long-overdue cultural conversation about the "gatekeeper" role these tests play in the college admissions process.
Bard College's new option allows a student to write four research papers from a list of 17 topics on the Bard website, and the topics are complete with the documentation you need to at least get started. Once submitted, if each one earns a professor's grade of B+ or higher, welcome to Bard.
In a move not unlike many of its contemporaries, Brandeis University has opted to pilot "test-flexibility," in which applications submitted after July 1st, 2013, will not be required to show standardized test scores. The school is not the first to make this move, nor will it be the last.
An increasing number of colleges and universities now make standardized testing an option, not a requirement. That is, some colleges leave it to individual applicants to determine whether they wish to take the SAT I or ACT or Subject Tests, and then report the scores to schools.