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The Future of Standardized Testing

By: Amy Boehm

We are all familiar with standardized testing- from ISAT, to PARCC, to SAT, there is always some new sort of test that students are being subjected to. But will this trend continue? During the pandemic, most colleges elected to go test optional, meaning that students could choose whether or not to submit their scores without penalty to their admissions decision. This was due to the inability to administer these tests throughout the course of the pandemic. However, since the return to (somewhat) normal life, about 80% of schools have remained test optional, with some schools even going as far as not accepting any form of test scores.

College Board, the creators of the SAT, recently announced that by 2024 the SAT will be fully online and an hour shorter than it is currently. Additionally, in 2020, the University of California schools, along with 86 other schools nationwide including Colorado and Iowa, decided they would no longer accept standardized test scores in their applications even if they are submitted. This goes to show that schools have been getting along just fine without test scores, and, shortly, the entire practice of submitting these scores could be eradicated.

According to Bob Schaeffer, executive director of FairTest, since becoming test optional schools have been able to accept a more diverse and well qualified population to attend. The University of California accepted its most diverse class in 2021, immediately after removing tests as a part of the application process. Furthermore, it is no secret that some students are naturally better test takers than others, and requiring the submission of test scores that do not properly reflect your education could be detrimental to applicants that are otherwise qualified.

Though it is impossible to say for sure what the future holds, it is a safe estimate that, at least for the next several years, the majority of schools will have little to no requirements as far as standardized tests. In general, if you are planning on taking the SAT, ACT, or any other standardized test in the near future, remember that your test scores do not define you or determine your future; just make sure to try your best!

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