Test scores no longer an integral part in admissions


Photo by Lyndsey Hill

A poster advertising SAT and ACT workshop dates.


College admission season has arrived leaving seniors all across the country glued to their phones, constantly refreshing their email inboxes anxiously waiting to find out whether or not they’ve been accepted.

For a majority of students their fate was sealed with their SAT and ACT scores. Yet a recent study led by former Dean of Admissions for Bates College, William Hiss, has shown that there was very little grade differences between students who submitted their SAT or ACT scores and those who didn’t. He concluded that standardized test shouldn’t matter in admissions decisions, but instead be centered on the student’s in-school accomplishments.

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“I personally think that grades should be more important than SAT scores,” senior Jasmine Johnson said. “Anyone can study for the SAT. It shows ‘Okay we bought an SAT book, we studied, and did well’. I believe that as long as your grades are consistent, then there should be no reason for a college admissions problem.”

The study shows that college admission officers should instead look at high school GPA, whether or not students took rigorous classes, and extra-curricular activities.

“I would be looking at GPA and grade consistency from freshman to senior year,” Johnson continued. “Are they A and B students? Did they take advanced classes? Did they fail any classes?”

There are currently 850 test-optional universities and colleges in the US. In other words the use of standardized testing in admissions decisions is de-emphasized. 47 of these schools are in Texas and include all branches of the University of Texas and Texas A&M University, as well as Sam Houston State University, University of Houston, and Texas State University.

“I would want to go to a college that cares more about my grades and less about my test scores,” sophomore Kenzie Gibson said. “All colleges should be test-optional because your transcripts show how well or how bad you’ve done over the course of four years, whereas the SATs show how you did one singular day. If I were on an admissions board, I’d pick the kid with good grades all around and bombed the SATs instead of the kid who aced it but did bad in all their classes.”