COVID-19 Has Prompted Hundreds Of Universities To Temporarily Halt Standardized Test Requirements

It could be a catalyst for more permanent change in the way college admissions departments value standardized test scores.

By Kristen CabreraJune 25, 2020 1:28 pm, ,

This week, the University of Texas at Austin announced it will not require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. The school joined more than 200 U.S. universities in this new policy for next year, if not longer, because the coronavirus pandemic has made testing impossible.

Eric Hoover , senior reporter for the Chronicle of Higher Education, told Texas Standard host David Brown on Thursday that students haven’t been able to take the ACT or SAT for months.

“So there’s a kind of supply and demand issue that has necessitated this change, at least temporarily, among colleges of all kinds,” Hoover said.

The change might be a catalyst for more permanent change in the way schools value standardized test scores in college admissions. Some schools had even started doing so before the pandemic.

“There had been growing momentum for this kind of change,” Hoover said. “For many institutions, it might not just be a one-year switch; it may lead many of them to make this change permanent.”

Critics argue that standardized test scores end up further favoring students with economic privilege.

Hoover said colleges that had stopped requiring standardized tests didn’t seem to have a problem with their admissions processes as a result.

“[They] just don’t need them to make good, sound decisions about who can succeed here on [their] campus,” he said.

Admissions officers told him the potential benefit of standardized tests to colleges and universities is less significant than the time and expense required of students to take the exams.

Web story by Sarah Gabrielli.

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