The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said Monday that it will reinstate the requirement that students provide SAT or ACT standardized test scores for future admissions. At the start of the pandemic, many schools waived standardized test requirements for entering students or, like MIT, had them report them. Optional.
The temporary change was meant to ease some of the unprecedented stresses and hurdles facing students graduating from U.S. high schools in 2020, 2021, and 2022. In 2020, the College Board, which administers the SAT, said millions of students were unable to take the test as scheduled in spring 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. He asked colleges and universities to be flexible in their admissions processes. The nonprofit organization that administers the ACT admissions test also announced outages for students taking that test.
But MIT dean of admissions and student financial services Stu Schmill wrote in a new blog post that his assessment of incoming students improves when he has access to student test results.
“Our research shows that standardized tests help us better assess the academic readiness of all applicants and also help us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who don’t have access to advanced coursework or other enrichment opportunities that they might otherwise miss. would demonstrate their readiness for MIT,” Schmill wrote. “We believe that a requirement is more equitable and transparent than an optional testing policy.” He added that standardized test performance “is not the central focus of our holistic admissions process,” and said MIT will consider students who are not yet able to safely take one of the standardized tests.
It remains to be seen how many other schools can follow MIT’s lead and reinstate their own standardized testing requirements. According to the nonprofit educational organization FairTest, more than 1,800 schools made standardized test scores an optional part of your admissions process for the high school class of 2022.
The College Board has also tried to make taking the SAT more convenient in other ways. The organization said in january which is doing away with old-fashioned paper-and-pencil exams, and will be fully digital for future tests, starting in 2024 in the US and 2023 for other countries. Students will take the test at testing centers and the time to take the test will be reduced from three hours to two hours. The College Board also said it will allow more time per question and that the reading passages “will reflect a broader range of themes than the works students read in college represent.” Calculators will be allowed during the math portion of the SAT, and test results will be available to students more quickly.