Is Test Optional Admissions for You?
Often, when we first meet with students (and parents) to discuss college selection, test-optional colleges are viewed skeptically. Many families come to this meeting with the impression that test-optional schools inevitably equate to a less rigorous academic experience.
Is this true?
In short, absolutely not.
Many prestigious liberal arts colleges and universities have jumped on the test-free or test-optional admissions bandwagon. Schools on this list include University of Chicago (rank is #3 among National Universities), Bowdoin College (ranked #5 for National Liberal Arts Colleges), and Wesleyan University (ranked #18 for National Liberal Arts Colleges) among many others.
So what are the arguments for or against standardized tests?
Hughes College Prep is a firm believer in providing students and their parents with all the information they need to make an informed decision about their post-secondary options. Here are some pros and cons so that you can do just that.
There is evidence that standardized tests favor wealthier, privileged students with access to test preparation resources and are, thus, not a fair metric to use (P.S. contact Hughes here to ask us about our student scholarships and efforts to make test preparation available to ALL, regardless of income).
Colleges that adopt a test-optional admissions policy increase their diversity.
Princeton conducted an in depth study in 2010 to back up their position that standardized tests are valuable to the admissions process - here are the results.
The matriculation rate of test-optional students at participating colleges is equivalent to those who submitted tests suggesting that the tests are not good indicators of student success.
Some credit standardized testing with a positive reversal in admissions that meant “better students, even from low-income families, had more opportunities, while low-ability students were unlikely to be admitted to the best colleges, regardless of income or connections.” Read more here.
What do you think?
Connect with a Hughes College Prep advisor today to discuss college selection and get started with the college admissions process. Follow our Facebook and Instagram to see featured test-optional schools each week!