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Standardized testing reinstated by US colleges after discovering negative impact of test-optional policies on minority students

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Last Updated on March 17, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

Universities in the United States reconsider standardized testing requirements

In recent years, universities in the United States have been grappling with the issue of standardized testing requirements for undergraduate applicants. Initially, many institutions dropped the requirement for SAT or ACT scores in response to concerns about inequality in higher education. However, some prestigious universities are now reinstating the testing requirements.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, dropping testing requirements was seen as a way to increase the applicant pool in the face of heightened competition for students. However, institutions such as MIT and Georgetown have decided to go back to requiring standardized test scores as part of their admissions process.

The debate surrounding standardized testing in college admissions is complex. On one hand, there are concerns about disadvantaging students of color and those from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. On the other hand, proponents argue that standardized tests provide a consistent and reliable piece of data in the admissions process.

Brown University, for example, is planning to reintroduce standardized testing requirements for first-year students in 2029. The university cited concerns about some disadvantaged students choosing not to submit scores under the test-optional policy.

While some educators and counselors believe that maintaining test-optional policies is crucial for promoting equity and diversity in college admissions, others argue that standardized tests can help level the playing field for all students. The issue remains a hot topic in higher education, with institutions weighing the pros and cons of requiring standardized test scores for admission.

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