In a welcome shift, more colleges are de-emphasizing the test in their admissions processes.
At the same time that public schools are placing heavier emphasis on a single standardized test — the annual standards exam that each state offers — colleges are edging in the other direction. More are de-emphasizing the SAT, which for years ruled the college admissions scene. And though their motives for this might have a tinge of self-interest, this new flexibility in college admissions is a welcome change.
The original intent of the SAT (which used to stand for Scholastic Aptitude Test but now is the official name of the exam) was to give talented students a crack at admission to top universities by showing their inherent smarts even if they’d never had the advantages of attending a prestigious Eastern prep school. Over the years, though, it has become a thriving industry. The test’s owner, the College Board, also puts out the PSAT, or preliminary SAT, and recently started up a pre-pre-SAT for middle school, as well as selling an SAT study guide and online course for a combined price of $89.99. Other companies have raised the ante by offering prep courses for the SAT and its increasingly popular rival, the ACT, that cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
Clearly, the college entrance exams created for middle-class and impoverished students give the edge to affluent teenagers. At the same time, studies have found that those tests aren’t stronger predictors of a student’s success in college than grades, class rank or a record of rigorous courses. For this reason and others, an increasing number of colleges have made the SAT an optional part of the application process.
READ MORE: Click belowthe original article from LA Times, written by staff