The largest university system in the United States eliminates the requirement for standardized tests

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Jhe largest four-year university system in the United States has eliminated SAT and ACT scores of its application requirements, marking a significant shift in the national debate eliminate standardized tests from admissions decisions.

Withdrawal of requirement “will level the playing field” for all students, acting chancellor Steve Relyea said after California State University’s board of trustees voted unanimously on Wednesday to scrap standardized testing. The move will diversify the school system’s student body by removing barriers that often prevent some prospective students from applying, the board said.

“Essentially, we’re eliminating our reliance on a high-stress, high-stakes test that has shown negligible benefit and providing our candidates with greater opportunities to demonstrate their drive, talents, and potential for academic success,” Relyea said. . in a report.

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California State University has used a “no-test” admissions system for the past two academic years “in response to the pandemic and other factors challenging students and families today.”

Instead of standardized tests, the board said it would use a set of “multifactorial admissions criteria” to admit prospective students, such as their high school GPA, extracurricular involvement, and household income.

In January, CSU’s Admissions Advisory Board recommended a halt to standardized testing in its applications after finding that “the SAT and ACT tests add negligible additional value to the CSU admissions process.”

But discussions about dropping the testing requirement began years ago, the university said. A temporary pause in the testing requirement was enacted in March 2020, followed by a review in spring 2021 of the effectiveness of making the pause permanent.

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In 2019, College Board, the nonprofit organization behind the SATs, announced plans to introduce an “adversity score” to address “wealth disparities reflected in the SAT,” but the proposal was dropped months later.

About 1.5 million students in the class of 2021 took the SATs and just under 1.3 million students took the ACTs last year. Both figures were considerable declines from pre-pandemic levels.

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