Optional Standardized Testing

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The Benefits of Optional Standardized Testing According to the data of William Hiss, a previous dean of admissions for Bates College, “students with higher grades and modest test scores did better in college than students with lower grades and higher test scores” (Sheffer). This proves that grades are more accurate predictors of a student's academic success. There are many benefits of making standardized tests optional or not requiring them at all. Standardized tests are a biased way of measuring academic talent. Although the College Board believes the SAT is a good predictor of academic success, this method of testing should be optional for students, as high school GPAs are better reflections on a student’s work ethics and future success in…show more content…
The SAT was created from the Army Alpha test which was used to test the IQ of army recruits. The Army Alpha Test was the first mass administered IQ test. Carl Brigham began adjusting the Army Alpha for college admissions. Brigham’s test was given experimentally to a few thousand college applicants in 1926. This test was thought to be a good way of measuring innate ability regardless of prior education. In 1933, the president of Harvard began a scholarship program for students who were gifted but did not come from wealthy families; they were tested with Brigham’s SAT. In 1938, all schools that were part of the College Board used the SAT for scholarship applicants (“A Brief History of the SAT”). If they tested well enough, they would receive a scholarship. The SAT used to stand for Scholastic Aptitude Test. However, since it is not just used for scholarships anymore the acronym no longer stands for anything (“What Does the SAT Really Measure?”). In 1942, the SAT was used for all applicants. “In 1948, the SAT was becoming the basic college admission device for millions” (“A Brief History of the SAT”). 80% of schools still require a standardized test score for acceptance (Blaf). However, this percentage is going down and as it does colleges will rely more a grades, which are more precise calculations of…show more content…
Currently, there are 850 test optional colleges in the USA and this number is slowly growing (Sheffer). William Hiss believes making standardized tests optional will allow more people to get a higher education (Sheffer). Optional testing creates a more equal opportunity for everyone. A Wake Forest study showed that the “average high school GPA of incoming freshman increased after the school stopped using standardized test scores as a factor in admissions” (Balf). It was also found that higher GPAs were maintained in college (Jaschik). Dropping testing would “result in higher levels of academic achievement in entering classes at public schools” (Jaschik). A Wake Forest Study showed that “79% of the 2012 incoming class was in the top 10% in high school, before test optional it was in the low 60s%” (Balf). Students who have worked hard in high school should be rewarded for their diligence instead rewarding intelligent students who do not demonstrate the proper effort. When colleges accept students with better grades instead of those with better tests scores, they are more likely to get determined students who will excel in college. At public schools, a 30% increase of minorities and low income applicants was seen when schools become test optional (Jaschik). Diversity is important in schools because everyone should feel welcome and have an equal chance. Studies using “real student applications at competitive
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