Test Prep

Colleges Dropping Standardized Testing

No More SAT or ACT?

A growing trend among institutes of higher learning in America reveals many colleges are dropping the ACT and SAT as a part of their requirements for admission. For decades, the importance of these tests has been stressed to students across the country. However,  a slow trend of dropping the scores as part of admissions has picked up speed to the point currently 1 in 4 colleges in the US have dropped the testing requirements for freshman applicants. The obvious question is why? Why is something that’s been touted as so important suddenly not important?

Newsweek recently published an article about this very issue on 10/16/19. The article looks at a June 2019 analysis of 200 schools that no longer require the test scores as admission, it was revealed that if the schools had used the SAT score alone as a factor for admission that more than half of their freshman would not have made it into these institutions. One score could have prevented these students from going to college.

Colleges are taking notice that the affordability of tutoring and access to other resources can limit a student’s ability to score high on these tests and get into their desired college. If a student living in a lower economic bracket can’t afford SAT and ACT tutoring/prep, then they are at a natural disadvantage. All the preparation will have to be done with any free resources that student can find (after school programs, study groups, etc.).  But someone born into a higher economic bracket who has parents that are willing to spend extra money on college prep for their child can find the best tutors to help their child prepare. This economic advantage is the reality of the situation colleges are facing and this is also negatively effecting diversity on college campuses.

The Washington Post also wrote an article recently on 10/18/2019 examining this same subject and they reveal that “Research has consistently shown that ACT and SAT scores are strongly linked to family income, mother’s education level and race.” The National Center for Fair and Open Testing recently analyzed the scores of the high school class of 2019 and they reported gaps between demographic groups grew larger from the year before.

What does this mean for you or your children? The list of schools dropping the ACT and SAT is growing. However, for the time being the test scores still play a large role in acceptance to many Universities, so students and parents alike shouldn’t dismiss the importance of these tests. The majority of Ivy League schools and elite learning institutions still require the tests for admission so students should still prepare accordingly. Until all schools stop requiring the tests it’s still important for students to prepare and work hard to receive high scores on the tests.

FairTest has a list of colleges that have “Test Flexible” requirements. They still want to see a student’s test scores but admit that the scores do not play a large factor in admission. As of Fall 2019, there are more than 1,050 accredited College and Universities that do not ACT/SAT scores to admit substantial numbers into bachelor-degree programs. We encourage all of our readers to look at all of the articles for details and a full list of colleges that have currently dropped the required testing.

Test Prep

ACT Test Dates 2019

ACT Test Release Information for 2019

The test release information (TRI) for the ACT has recently been updated, so we’d like to highlight this optional service that allows you to request a copy of the questions and answers from your test.

How it Works

TRI is available to any student who takes the ACT at a national test center on a national test date in the months of December, April, and June. For a small fee of $20.00, it can be purchased online within five days of the test date, or by mail up to six months after the test date. Students who took or plan to take the test on the following dates are eligible for TRI:

  • December 8, 2018
  • April 13, 2019
  • June 8, 2019

ACTReleaseWhat you Get

Your TRI includes:

  • A copy of the multiple-choice questions
  • A list of your selected answers
  • An answer key

If you took the writing test, in addition to the items listed above, you’ll also receive:

  • A copy of the writing prompt
  • A copy of the scoring rubric
  • A copy of the scores assigned to your essay

Information on ordering a photocopy of your answer sheet (including the essay) for another small fee will be enclosed with your materials as well.

Why You Should Get It

While the standard score report is helpful for gauging college preparedness and potential career fields, the TRI provides greater specificity on what subsections of each test (English, Math, Reading, Science, Writing) could use extra practice. It allows you to examine the mistakes that were made, and learn from them, allowing you to improve your skills and do better on a potential retest.

How to get started

More information on TRI, as well as the Information Release order form, can be found here.