Some colleges across the country have started to question the value of standardized test scores as part of their admissions requirements. Princeton and Stanford recently joined the test-optional movement. As an alternative, Stanford is requiring students to submit a graded writing sample in English or History. The writing portion of the SAT and ACT is optional, but elite colleges have always encouraged the submission of the essay. Princeton recommends students to submit a graded essay from the two standardized test as a replacement for the math and comprehensive reading. However, this policy is due to take effect in 2019. They are exploring alternative approaches to promote effective writing. The essay has been a financial burden for many low-income students as it is an additional cost to the test. Brown University is currently the only Ivy League school that still requires both standardized tests.
Why are we seeing a massive number of schools joining the test-optional movement? I believe standardized test only reveals one skill: an ability to take a test in a very controlled environment. Schools neglect attributes like creativity, leadership, reasoning, and character during the admissions process. Some schools conduct interviews as a way to get to know prospective students on a personal level.
What’s your say on the topic?