- More than 1,900 colleges are not mandating that students submit SAT or ACT scores for admissions for fall 2023, continuing a pandemic-era practice that shows no signs of diminishing.
- The tally comes from FairTest, a group advocating for the limited application of standardized assessments. The organization also found most of the institutions that waived entrance exam requirements for this year extended those policies through fall 2024.
- FairTest’s executive director, Harry Feder, said in a statement Wednesday that the group believes few institutions will maintain testing mandates should the U.S. Supreme Court restrict race-conscious admissions, as it is expected to do this month.
The campaign to rid college admissions of testing requirements was pushed into overdrive by the coronavirus’s spread.
The health crisis shut down common exam sites, but institutions still kept test-optional or test-free policies when pandemic-era restrictions began to subside. Test-free refers to colleges that won’t review scores whatsoever.
Critics of standardized exams point to wealthier students tending to score higher on them because they can access tutoring their low-income peers cannot.
Meanwhile, testing providers like the ACT and College Board, which delivers the SAT, have acknowledged educational inequities but say their products are not to blame.
Feder, in his statement Wednesday, disagreed with that claim. He said testing requirements are race-conscious factors, and have a “negative disparate impact on Black and Latinx applicants.” This contributes to barriers in postsecondary education, he said.
Feder said if the Supreme Court bars race-conscious practices, ACT and SAT wouldn't be the only exams affected. Tests for graduate admissions like the Graduate Record Examination, or GRE, will also fall by the wayside.
The GRE test-maker, Educational Testing Service, recently announced it would halve the exam time from four hours to about two, which pundits took as reflection of assessments’ shrinking role in admissions.