Should universities drop SAT and ACT requirements? | The Tylt

Should universities drop SAT and ACT requirements?

This May, the University of California decided to phase out ACT and SAT requirements for prospective students. According to the New York Times, the decision will apply to the university's system of 10 schools, which includes "some of the nation’s most popular campuses." Supporters of the ACT and SAT say the tests are predictors of how students will perform in college. Nevertheless, the tests have been criticized for years, with some arguing they fail to take into account inequities in the education system. Should the SAT and ACT be scrapped altogether?

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According to critics of the ACT and SAT, the tests do much more to demonstrate inequities than they do to predict success at the university level. Vice's Maxwell Strachan refers to John Pérez, the chair of the University of California's board of regents, on the topic: 

“The initial information that I’ve seen shows that the highest predictive value of an SAT [score] isn’t in how well a student will do in school, but how well they were able to avail themselves of prep material,” Pérez recently told The Times.

The decision to deemphasize or eliminate the ACT and SAT is not new in higher education. Per the New York Times' Shawn Hubler 

Carol Christ, now the Berkeley chancellor, was one of the first university administrators to eliminate the SAT requirement nearly two decades ago when she became president of Smith College. On Thursday, she told the regents that she viewed standardized testing as “a biased instrument” that would only become more skewed in the wake of the pandemic.

According to Hubler, the University of California's latest decision will likely influence other colleges and universities to move away from the tests. 

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But not everyone is on board with the University of California's decision. Some worry about the short-term impact of eliminating standardized tests. Per the New York Times' Hubler:

Robert May, a philosophy professor at the University of California, Davis, who appointed the faculty panel, said the regents’ decision would add confusion and significant costs to the admissions process at the mammoth system, and make admissions determinations even more subjective in the short-term.

Those in favor of keeping the SAT and ACT say the tests are not the problem:

Supporters of standardized tests have argued that they provide an important yardstick to assess students across disparate school districts and states. And the College Board and ACT say any inequities in their results reflect existing gaps in the American educational system, and are not a fault of the tests themselves.
FINAL RESULTS
Culture
Should universities drop SAT and ACT requirements?
#DropSATandACT
A festive crown for the winner
#KeepSATandACT