The growing number of SAT/ACT optional universities represents a positive trend in the test optional movement. From students’ perspective, winners and losers are kind of different in SAT optional policy. Students with high SAT or ACT scores lose their absolute advantages, though high scores can still help them to get an offer from their dreaming schools. Traditional minority students might “take advantage” of this policy and have higher chance to be admitted than before.
The negative influence of shadow education might decrease in this situation, based on the fact that school GPA is less sensitive to student economics ackground than SAT scores. However, it doesn’t mean that SAT optional policy can significantly reduce the inequality caused by shadow education. Students from rich families still have more resource in preparing school courses and having more meaningful activities outside the study. studies even show a negative relationship between SAT Optional and admitting minority students.
Belasco (2014) and Actually, some other authors collected cross-sectional data on 180 selective liberal arts colleges in the U. S to examine the effects of SAT optional policies. Their results show that test-optional colleges nrolled a lower proportion of Pell recipients and underrepresented minorities than test-requiring institutions- during all years of the panel, which means low-income students didn’t get benefits from the SAT optional policies. Furthermore, after adopting SAT-optional policies, colleges didn’t make any progress in narrowing diversity-related gaps. op 100 liberal arts colleges, as ranked by U. S. News & World report, are SAT and ACT optional. In total, about 850 U. S. colleges do not require SAT or ACT scores. However, what if the Now, 24 of the number increased from 24 to 74? If most of the selective schools egin to adopt the SAT optional policy, will student still choose to take this exam? The popularity of SAT optional might bring unpredicted impacts on students, institutions, exam industries and even the job market. It will be a historical movement in higher education and it’s hard to say whether the influences are positive or negative.
Discussion and implication Although SAT exam has obvious disadvantages, it provides an easy and relatively effective way to select students, especially for universities with large application pools. A essential worry about SAT Optional policy is that whether colleges can still select ualified students without their scores. In SAT optional universities, they need to take into accounts more factors to predict students’ college academic performance and selecting the weights for these factors can be a more challenging task.
Open criticism remains that SAT/ACT optional makes admissions decisions more subjective and non-submitters tend to have lower academic performances in colleges. Luckily, prior research results showed relatively optimistic results. According to Hoover’s research about Bates College (2004), the overall grade- point average was 3. 11 for students who submitted test scores and 3. 6 for those who did not, and the difference between the graduation rates for the two groups was one-tenth of 1 percent.
Though there does exist a gap between the two groups in their academic performance, the difference is not very obvious. As for Mount Holyoke College (Robinson, 2015) case, Robinson made a conclusion that selective college admissions can indeed be carried out under an optional SAT score submission policy at an institution. His results showed that although non-submitters have lower first year GPAS than submitters, students’ first year college GPA and retention rate are not significantly influenced y whether or not they submitted SAT. vidence that the SAT is a poor predictor of college success, it Despite mounting remains a major social, cultural, and political force in the world of U. S. higher education (Amo & Lee, 2013). The popularity of SAT/ACT optional policy reflects the reduced reliance on SAT and ACT. On the assumption that SAT reinforces inequality predicated upon social group status and on the form of intelligence with which an individual is endowed, can we get a conclusion that the social group inequality and student affordability would be better addressed in SAT Optional policy?
The answer might be complex. he equality. It can be understood in a very simple way: a fair decision is one that treats applicants equally, and all candidates are required to meet the same standards. From this perspective, we should increase the weight of SAT and ACT scores, because exam is strongly correlated with objectivity, and systems based on examination scores offer little room for subjective interpretation or bias.
However, equality is much more complicated than this simply way and must be considered carefully from both historical perspective and humanistic perspective. There is no absolute equality in higher education, ecause it is impossible to ensure that all students have same access to all information and are from similar family backgrounds. optional admissions policies have done little to meet their goals of expanding educational opportunity for low-income and minority students (Belasco, etc. , 2014).
In fact, SAT optional policies might also cause inequality to students with high SAT scores. Without SAT/ACT scores, admission officers pay more attentions to other indicators, such as the involvement outside First, it is very hard to define Plus, some research suggest that SAT the classroom. However, extracurricular opportunities are nequally distributed across socioeconomic groups (Conger & Long, 2011). What’s more, since current statistics are limited to certain universities, it’s hard to predict the consequence if we apply this policy to more universities.
ACT optional means federal government, states and universities lose an important tool in differentiating students. As a Second, making SAT/ standardized exam, SAT has been widely used for about 70 years, and it is an easy and effective way to judge the students. Most importantly, it serves as a tried-and-true measure to compare students. Specifically, universities may have to make uch more extra efforts to tell the talent students. For example, Wake Forest University interviewed 8000 students as part of new SAT optional admission process, reported by U. S Newswire in 2009.
After using SAT optional policy, 28% of students choose not to submit their test scores and the application number increased 7% in 2009. Though 82% of students in the top 10% of high school classes, to ensure student’ quality, Wake Forest University assigned lots of professors to interview students. Besides, Wake Forest increased its admissions staff by 20 percent to ensure they can give each applicant careful onsideration in a no-test-score environment. It is obvious that dealing with a larger applicant pool costs a lot and it seems to become a burden for SAT optional universities. e easier and safer to reform the SAT exam. Actually, SAT exam will experience some obvious changes in 2016 fall. The SAT eco- system will undergo sweeping changes on what’s tested, how it’s scored and how students can prepare. The new test will include three sections: evidence-based reading and writing, math, and an optional essay. The test will shift from its current score scale of 2400 back to 1600, with a separate score for the essay. For the reading part, instead of some rare words, it will use words students are likely to encounter in their college study.
The math section will focus on data analysis and real world problem- solving and more advanced math concepts. The purpose of making these distinct adjustments is mostly because SAT exam has become far too disconnected from the work of high schools and too riddled with costly text preparation. The ACT exams and SAT optional policy make SAT change its focuses and test more related to high scho It might achievements. As for how to prepare new SAT exam, students’ classrooms are meant to be he best preparation for the redesigned SAT.
The College Board’s Khan Academy tools will supplement that learning. It’s truly hard to predict the validity and reliability of new SAT exam, but if this new exam can offset main disadvantages of current SAT, SAT can still be regarded as an important tool to select students. If it really reduces the inequality and give low-income students relatively fair opportunities to prepare for the test, and if it could become a stronger predictor for students college academic performance, it might be a better choice to continuously trust the SAT exam.