Monday, May 16, 2022

MIT restores SAT and ACT requirements for incoming students

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The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) said Monday it is reinstating the requirements for students to score the SAT or ACT standardized tests for future admissions. At the start of the pandemic, many schools either waived or, like MIT, made notice of standardized testing requirements for incoming students. optional.

The temporary change was intended to alleviate some of the unprecedented tensions and obstacles faced by students graduating from U.S. high schools in 2020, 2021 and 2022. In 2020 the College Board, representing the SAT . manages, said millions of students were unable to take the test as planned in the spring of 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions. It asked colleges and universities to be flexible in their admission processes. The Non-Profit Organization That Also Runs the ACT Admission Test announced disruptions for students taking that test.

But MIT Dean of Admissions and Student Financial Services Stu Schmill wrote in a new blog post that having access to the students’ test results improves the assessment of incoming students.

“Our research shows that standardized tests help us better assess the academic readiness of all applicants, as well as help us identify socioeconomically disadvantaged students who lack access to advanced courses or other enrichment opportunities that would otherwise demonstrate MIT readiness.” Schmill wrote. “We believe that a requirement is fairer and more transparent than a test-optional policy.” He added that standardized test performance “is not the central focus of our holistic admissions process,” and said MIT will consider students who may still not be able to safely take any of the standardized tests.

It remains to be seen how many other schools will follow MIT’s lead and restore their own standardized testing requirements. According to non-profit education organization FairTest, more than 1,800 schools made standardized test scores an optional part of their admission process for the 2022 high school class.

The Executive Board has also tried to make the SAT more practical in other ways. The organisation said in January that it will do away with the old-fashioned pencil and paper exams and will go completely digital for future tests, starting in 2024 in the US and 2023 for other countries. Students will take the test in test centers and the time to take the test will be reduced from three hours to two hours. The College Board also said it will allow more time per question, and reading passages “will reflect a wider range of topics that represent the works students read in college.” Calculators are allowed during the math portion of the SAT and test results will be available to students more quickly.

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