Colleges Bringing Back Standardized Testing Requirements

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A list made by Crimson Education in March 2024 shows the first wave of colleges that reinstated test requirements on applications. While the list “continues to grow,” so does the debate on whether or not it should. (Screenshot Courtesy of Nadia Ferjani). 

High schoolers should consider registering for the ACT or SAT as soon as possible, as more colleges have joined in on requiring students to submit their test scores. 

In 2020 almost every school in the United States dropped their test requirements for applicants, this was because students could not go into buildings to take the tests because of quarantine. 

However several schools stopped asking for test scores long before 2020 because it discriminated against low-income students or students who abided in areas that lacked testing centers. 

In early 2024 some prestigious schools, such as Dartmouth, Brown, and MIT, all reinstated test requirements for applicants. 

MIT explains that they reinstated this requirement because by using test scores the school could accurately predict students’ potential academic success at MIT (MIT Admissions). They also mention that this benefits disadvantaged students, as students who go to schools that don’t offer rigorous classes can take the tests to show their readiness in that aspect instead. And they state that “the forthcoming Digital SAT, has increased opportunities to take the tests.” 

Since early 2024, multiple colleges have joined the train on requiring test scores. On April 11, Harvard announced that it would be requiring test score submissions from applicants, on the basis that testing has become available again for students. 

On April 17, the Board of Governors met to vote on whether UNC Chapel Hill will raise its testing requirements. While it is past this date, no announcement from the school has been made. Duke University, another popular school in North Carolina, has remained test optional thus far in 2024, however they did change their policy regarding essays. They stated that they will no longer give essays a numerical rating due to the rise in AI. 

Of course, these policy changes have caused a debacle over standardized testing in general. The National Education Association (NEA) states that “standardized tests are inaccurate, inequitable, and often ineffective at gauging what students actually know.”

According to a poll posted on the @lrhsnews account, 65% of students voted that you should not have to submit your scores on college applications. 

“Considering people last year didn’t have to [submit scores on applications] I feel like it’s unfair to require us this year to submit scores, especially because a lot of colleges are doing this kind of last minute so you have to rush to take tests now if you were planning on applying to these schools,” said Bill Chen, junior. 

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