Education & Family

Dartmouth will again require SAT, ACT scores. Other colleges won’t necessarily follow

“We can see in the data: Oh wow, that student, boy, they had a 1450 … or a 1500 … We didn’t even know that. And they were not admitted to Dartmouth,” he says. “That is a very excellent rating. And, it could have been an awesome piece [of information] to have.

The research additionally discovered that take a look at scores helped usher in college students from high faculties that didn’t have already got a monitor report of sending college students to Dartmouth.

What works for Dartmouth gained’t necessarily work for everybody

The Dartmouth research challenges the long-standing criticism that standardized exams, just like the ACT and the College Board’s SAT, damage college students from marginalized backgrounds relating to admissions.

Multiple studies have discovered a correlation between increased take a look at scores and better revenue. And within the high college class of 2020, Black and Latino college students scored decrease than white and Asian college students on the mathematics part of the SAT, according to the Brookings Institution.

A years-long motion to eliminate take a look at necessities gained crucial momentum when the pandemic hit and complex college students’ skill to take the exams.

“The wave of test optional becomes a kind of tsunami,” says Harry Feder, government director of FairTest, an advocacy group that tracks take a look at optionally available insurance policies at colleges.

According to FairTest, greater than 1,900 U.S. colleges and universities are at the moment “test optional,” which means college students can determine whether or not they wish to submit their standardized take a look at scores with their functions. One of the biggest public techniques within the nation, California State University, removed standardized testing from their admissions necessities in 2022.

But lots of the faculties that went take a look at optionally available throughout the pandemic at the moment are weighing whether or not to maintain these versatile testing insurance policies. And consultants stress these insurance policies aren’t one dimension matches all.

“I’m concerned that other very different universities will join the bandwagon of the return to the SAT without themselves considering carefully whether the SAT aligns with their admissions objectives,” says Zachary Bleemer, an assistant professor in economics at Princeton University.

He’s achieved analysis taking a look at a program in California that admitted college students with high GPAs and low take a look at scores. They had been in a position to benefit from the colleges’ alternatives and assets and switch them right into a profitable profession that wouldn’t have occurred in the event that they hadn’t been admitted. Bleemer says that entry is form of the purpose of a publicly funded faculty. A small, non-public faculty, like Dartmouth, might have totally different targets.

College functions are all the time up for interpretation

Sacerdote, at Dartmouth, acknowledges the inequities within the admissions course of. But he says these inequities exist within the bigger schooling system – not simply in exams.

The job of an admissions workplace is to interpret an utility, together with take a look at scores – which suggests all of it comes all the way down to human judgment, and ensuring utility readers don’t get obsessive about the take a look at the way in which tradition generally does.

“We have a lot of experience that says that people misinterpret and over emphasize numbers,” says Andrew Ho, an schooling professor at Harvard University.

“These are people rendering judgments, proper? And you hope that they’ve experience. You belief that they’ve experience.”

Or perhaps, he says, you don’t.

Edited by: Nicole Cohen

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see extra, go to

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