A growing number of colleges are stepping away from the standardized exams traditionally required of admissions applicants. More than 800 colleges and universities across the country no longer mandate score submissions from SAT or ACT college admissions exams, according to the latest survey by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing, otherwise known as FairTest and a longtime critic of the SAT.
The number of test-optional institutions grew after the most recent revision of the SAT and ACT, in 2005. Of those schools, some exempt applicants who meet GAP or class-rank criteria while others require scores only for course placement purposes or for internal research.
"[Colleges and universities] recognize that neither the SAT nor ACT measures what students most need to succeed in higher education," FairTest Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer said in a statement Wednesday. "Even the tests' sponsors admit that an applicant's high school record remains a better predictor of college performance than either exam is."
Among the test-optional schools are Middlebury College and Bowdoin College, both of which were ranked in U.S. News & World Report's top 10 liberal arts colleges in America. Nearly 150 institutions with test-optional admissions rank in the "top tier" of their respective academic categories, Schaeffer said.