DAVIDSON, N.C. — Before the pandemic, most high school students who intended to go to college were required to take standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT to be admitted. However, some colleges and universities made the tests optional during the pandemic because of COVID-19 concerns.
Now, some schools are dropping the requirement or remaining test-optional permanently, including Davidson College. The change means that prospective students going through the admissions process can choose to include test scores from the SAT and ACT or not.
“We have always known that standardized tests create barriers for some students, and that test scores show only a fraction of their academic potential,” Chris Gruber, Dean of Admission at Davidson, said in a statement.
“The caliber of our incoming classes has not only remained stable, it has increased — in grades, life experiences and even test scores.”
Kevin Smith, who was touring Davidson with his daughter, learned about the change on Tuesday.
“I sort of had a chuckle because my daughter got her score yesterday and she did well. It was kind of like, ‘Oh, well, I guess it’s really not that important anymore,’” he said.
Smith says his daughter is opting to include her score, but he says the changes have changed the game.
“It does make you reassess. She had extra classes, extra work, and obviously you have to consider whether that makes sense anymore,” he said.
According to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, Davidson is not the only school making the change — a record 1,785 schools went test-optional for fall of 2022, which is more than 75% of all colleges and universities in the United States.
Last week, the board of governors for the UNC system voted to remain test-optional through the fall of 2024.
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