Student Login


Sea change in college admission testing requirements

October 27th, 2020

The common theme of 2020 remains the same: stay flexible and creative as yet another change is happening in the college admissions world. This time, it’s affecting standardized testing and a lot of people are cheering.

Even before the pandemic there was a strong movement for colleges and universities to adopt “test-optional” admission policies, with research documenting that scores are strongly correlated to socioeconomic factors. Some colleges have even become “test-free!” Change isn’t always bad, and what we’re seeing this year is both necessary given the number of pandemic-related testing site cancellations and meaningful as a response to calls for greater equity.

Image via: Shutterstock/The Atlantic

Side effects

University of Georgia has reported a 25% increase in Early Action applications, possibly attributable to going test-optional. And on the other end of the spectrum, Florida public universities report declines in early application numbers, perhaps attributable to their ongoing requirement for standardized testing when test sites are so scarce and difficult to access. At this time it is difficult to say how other schools’ application pools will look by the end of the season but as new information surfaces, we will continue to share.

The article referenced below from EdSurge gives a great update on what is happening in the world of college admission when it comes to standardized testing. Many experts believe that this revision to admission policy may stick around for many schools after the pandemic subsides.

Article referenced below from EdSurge, written by Emily Tate, published on September 25, 2020

1,600 Colleges Are Now Test-Optional. How Many Will Go Back?

The University of Massachusetts Amherst has historically required prospective undergraduate students to submit a standardized test score as part of their applications. In fact, doing otherwise has never seriously been considered by the public research institution, says Mike Drish, director of first-year admissions.

Enter COVID-19.

With schools and testing centers closed across the country, COVID-19 has prevented at least one million students in the high school class of 2021 from taking the ACT or SAT exams. Even now, as testing has resumed—albeit with social distancing, face coverings and limited seating—access to testing centers is not equal, nor equitable. Many hundreds of thousands of students are still waiting to take an exam.

Read more at EdSurge>>