Melanie Arougueti/Staff Writer
Universities across the country should be paying attention to the University of California, which recently decided on suspending the SAT and the ACT until 2024.
This will create a ripple of change in the admission process for undergraduate students who are in the midst of applying to universities while experiencing a pandemic.
According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, other universities have been forced to drop their SAT and the ACT requirements for fall of 2021, but this doesn’t mean that will last. While their initiatives are a step in what seems like the right direction, I fear that after the pandemic goes away, universities will once again begin mandating that standardized test scores be used in their admission processes.
UC may have made the suspension, but Inside Higher Ed says that this is just the beginning—the main goal being to completely fade out the SAT and the ACT. However, UC has spoken on developing another exam to test students’ other abilities.
“I think this is an incredible step in the right direction toward aligning our admissions policy with the broad-based values of the University,” UC Board of Regents chair John A. Pérez said.
Personally, I think all sorts of timed standardized testing should be abolished. They just don’t prove a student’s worth.
The people who take these exams are usually teenagers applying to colleges, but teenagers already go through a lot internally and shouldn’t feel the additional pressure of taking a test that will determine the next four years of their lives. Perhaps a student is a creative genius, but they can’t prove that with the SAT.
Currently, the College Board, which administers these tests and others, is being sued for breach of contract, gross negligence, misrepresentation and more. This came after high school students faced many technological difficulties and security problems while taking their AP exams from home.
Peter Schwartz, the College Board’s general council, has called the lawsuit a big “PR stunt,” but perhaps it outlines larger problems. For example, in the midst of a pandemic, students rightfully don’t want to lose their semester’s hard work, but AP exams aren’t meant to be taken at home.
There need to be different credentials to getting college credits, other than just tests and more tests. If students want college credits, they can take dual enrollment programs, though these programs would have to be made available in all schools to fulfill students’ needs.
I fear that UC’s new test will be similar to the SAT and the ACT, or even harder and more worrisome. We need to ban standardized testing and implement different systems for students to prove their worth and defend their transcripts. Perhaps UC’s new exam will test them on creativity? But something tells me it won’t.
Our university should follow UC’s footsteps and suspend the need for the SAT and ACT for admission purposes. Hopefully, we can rule them out of our admission process entirely, instead of coming up with alternatives that only yield the same results.
Featured image by Steven S. on Flickr.
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