ERIC Number: ED426107
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1998-Sep
Reference Count: N/A
Test Scores Do Not Equal Merit: Enhancing Equity & Excellence in College Admissions by Deemphasizing SAT and ACT Results.
Rooney, Charles; Schaeffer, Bob
More than 275 colleges across the United States now admit some or all of their applicants without regard to Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) or American College Testing Program (ACT) scores, and many say that the policy has increased both the diversity and the academic quality of their entering classes. Many lessons have been learned at schools that have deemphasized test scores. Detailed case studies present the experiences of three colleges, Bates, Muhlenberg, and Franklin & Marshall, as well as those of the Texas public university system and the California state university system. Submitting test scores is optional for applicants at Bates and Muhlenberg and the other profiled institutions do not consider SAT or ACT results from students who meet either grade point average or class rank criteria. The five case studies indicate that high school performance is the best available method for screening applicants, and that tests add little useful information to the high school record. Moving away from reliance on admissions tests promotes sounder educational practices in high schools by downgrading the importance of multiple-choice examination preparation. Dropping tests leads to greater diversity, these institutions have concluded, because the focus on test scores can deter otherwise qualified minority, low-income, first-generation, female, and other students from applying. In addition, test- optional colleges and universities have not experienced particular difficulties recruiting and selecting their entering classes. Because other colleges can learn from the experiences of these institutions, this report includes a guide for schools seeking to restructure their admissions requirements. This process begins with an audit of current test score use, followed by an analysis of the impact of these policies on the institution's mission and goals. Appendixes present a list of 281 4-year schools that have eliminated or reduced test score requirements, a discussion of graduate level admissions, a discussion of gender bias on the SAT, and an SAT fact sheet. (Contains 102 endnotes.) (SLD)
Descriptors: Access to Education, Admission Criteria, Case Studies, College Applicants, College Entrance Examinations, Diversity (Student), Equal Education, Grade Point Average, High School Students, High Schools, Higher Education, Minority Groups, Test Results, Test Use
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Publication Type: Guides - Non-Classroom; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Practitioners; Administrators; Policymakers
Authoring Institution: National Center for Fair and Open Testing (FairTest), Cambridge, MA.
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: ACT Assessment