The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) announced Monday that it is reintroducing requirements for students to submit scores from the standardized SAT or ACT tests for future admissions. At the beginning of the pandemic, many schools either waived standardized testing requirements for incoming students or, like MIT, made a report Optional.
The temporary change was intended to alleviate some of the unprecedented pressures and obstacles faced by students graduating from US high schools in 2020, 2021 and 2022. In 2020 the College Board administering the SAT, said millions of students were unable to take the test as scheduled in spring 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. It called on colleges and universities to be flexible in their admissions procedures. The non-profit organization that also administers the ACT admissions test announced disruptions for students taking this test.
However, Stu Schmill, MIT’s Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services, wrote in a new blog post that having access to student test scores improves his assessment of freshmen.
“Our research shows that standardized testing helps us better assess the academic preparation of all applicants and also helps us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who do not have access to advanced courses or other enrichment opportunities that would otherwise demonstrate their readiness for MIT.” ‘ Schmill wrote. “We believe that a requirement is fairer and more transparent than an optional testing policy.” He added that standardized test performance “is not central to our holistic admissions process,” and said MIT will accommodate students who may still not be in are able to safely complete one of the standardized tests.
It remains to be seen how many other schools will follow MIT’s example and reintroduce their own standardized testing requirements. According to the non-profit educational organization FairTest, more than 1,800 schools made standardized test scores an optional part their admission procedure for the upper school class 2022.
The College Board has also tried to make taking the SAT more practical in other ways. The organization said in January that it will do away with the old-fashioned pencil and paper exams and go fully digital for future tests starting in 2024 in the US and 2023 for other countries. Students will take the test at test centers and the duration of the test will be reduced from three to two hours. The college board also said it will allocate more time per question, and the reading passages “will reflect a broader range of topics that represents the works that students read at the college.” Calculators will be allowed during the math portion of the SAT, and test results will be available to students more quickly.
https://www.theverge.com/2022/3/28/23000545/mit-sat-act-standardized-test-coronavirus-pandemic MIT is restoring the SAT and ACT requirements for incoming students