An original policy: test optional

Elijah Zawatsky

Pic of DePauls logo
Schools such Florida tech, Bennington University, and American College are adopting the test optional admission policy. This policy allows students to apply for college while disregarding their ACT and SAT scores. One such university is DePaul, located in Chicago, IL. Image by Eli Zawatsky.

A new trend is starting to appear in colleges across the country, called a “test optional” admission policy. The policy gives students the choice of whether or not they want to give colleges their ACT or SAT scores.

“I think the idea of a test optional policy is bad because the SAT and ACT are the most accurate measures of what a student has earned in high school,” said Madison McKenzie, 11.

While some students see major disadvantages in the policy and think it should not be implemented, others see advantages and new opportunities for some students.

“I find the idea of a test optional school appealing, because certain students who are lacking in the ability to take tests will then have an equal opportunity to get into college as a student who does have those abilities,” said Laurel Taylor, 11.

The policy may give some students a better opportunity, but it also provides colleges with less information with which to judge their applicants by. The colleges then will often administer their own standardized test during orientation, which they believe gives a more accurate level of intelligence than the ACT or SAT.

“Without the ACT and SAT colleges won’t know how ready a student is to study at their university,” said McKenzie.

For better or for worse schools such as Florida Tech, American University, and Bennington College are adopting the policy, and it could be around for years to come.