More Bad News for SAT/ACT


The George Washington University will no longer require most undergraduate applicants to submit SAT or ACT test scores, effective Aug. 1.

With one sentence, the folks at GW made life just a little bit harder for standardized test manufacturers.

sat test.jpg
It’s not just that another college has dropped the popular testing product requirement. Doing so touched off the usual round of press. The folks at FairTest reminded us that over 850 colleges and universities no longer require students to jump through the old hoops. Valerie Strauss helpfullybroke out some striking lists of top-ranked (well, top-ranked by the not-entirely-believable US News ranking system) schools that don’t require students to plunk down good money for a bad evaluation of their post-secondary prospects. Bowdoin! Bryn Mawr! Wake Forest! Hey, even my own alma mater—way to go, Allegheny!

It’s not just that this calls up all the old objections, all the things we already knew about the tests. Cue the regular research showing cultural and racial bias in the tests. Trot out the 2014 research showing that high school grades are better predictors of college success than SAT’s. Discuss the validity of tests so game-able that an entire industry has sprung up around gaming them.

But the bigger problem is the continued drawing of blood. Like the god-king who is nicked by a spear, the SAT and ACT are most hurt by the wound that reveals they are not what they say they are. Read more>>