The Great Test Score Comeback: Many Colleges Are Reinstating Standardized Testing

The Great Test Score Comeback: Many Colleges Are Reinstating Standardized Testing

After a brief hiatus during the pandemic, many colleges are reinstating standardized test requirements for admissions, and the reason lies in a surprising twist: equity.

Colleges are discovering and reporting that standardized tests actually help level the playing field among students. Research suggests that test scores are a more reliable predictor of college success than high school grades, which have been subject to inflation and vary widely in rigor. By reinstating test requirements, colleges aim to identify talented students from all backgrounds who might otherwise be overlooked.

For instance, UT Austin and MIT both recently reported that they have found that standardized tests help them better predict student success and ensure that students are placed in majors that fit their strengths. Similarly, Harvard and Dartmouth have cited research showing that test scores can highlight the potential of students from under-resourced schools, providing a clearer picture of their academic abilities.

While some institutions never wavered in their requirement for standardized testing, notably University of Florida, a slew of colleges and universities have rejoined the test-required ranks in the past two years:

  • University of Texas at Austin (UT Austin)
  • Harvard University
  • Stanford University as of 6/7/24!
  • California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
  • Brown University
  • Yale University
  • Dartmouth College
  • Purdue University
  • Georgetown University
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Test optional will remain the policy at some colleges and universities, but as you or your student approach your sophomore and junior years in high school, it makes sense to consider how you want to prepare for either the SAT or ACT.  If you’d like help thinking through a plan that makes the most of your strengths and is suited to your college admissions’ goals and schedule, Woodlands Test Prep would be delighted to help!

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