- A new SAT will debut in March with an optional essay portion that almost two-thirds of schools will neither require nor recommend, though the nation’s most elite schools will still expect their students to complete the entire assessment.
- Kaplan Test Prep surveyed the nation’s top 300 colleges and universities about the changed test and found that just 13% will require it, while another 19% will recommend it but go no further.
- The essay portion of the SAT will also change from a prompt for a persuasive essay to a task that includes the reading of a 700-word passage and the writing of an analytical essay examining the author’s argument.
Admissions tests have fallen out of favor in some circles, blamed for reducing diversity on college campuses. Studies have shown the tests tend to favor the preparation and cultural capital of students from higher-income families. A number of graduate schools have stopped requiring the GRE, or at least made it optional for certain types of eligible students. Many admissions officers advocate for a holistic process that takes performance on standardized tests into account as one of many factors.