1,600 US colleges ignore SAT for UG admissions – Times of India


MUMBAI: As the admission cycle for fall 2022 begins, over 1,600 American undergraduate schools have declared that they will be test blind — admitting candidates purely on the basis of their secondary and high school performance, without ACT/SAT scores.

Such schools make up more than two-thirds of the 2,330 bachelor-degree institutions in the US. SAT (scholastic assessment test) scores are usually used by most US universities to evaluate students for undergraduate admission.

This is the second year when admissions to bachelor’s programmes will be test blind. With SAT schedules getting cancelled in various parts of the world, America’s top universities have continued to keep their gates open for those unable or unwilling to take the entrance exam.

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That admission will be based on the “entirety” of their background has come as a huge relief for candidates. Experts expect application numbers to soar. “Most universities in the US, including Ivy Leagues such as Harvard, Columbia and Cornell, have waived the SAT and ACT (American college testing) for students who are applying for admission for the fall 2022 intake. The waiver was applicable initially for students who applied for fall 2021, but it’s now extended to fall 2022 as well,” said international education counsellor Karan Gupta. “Universities abroad recognise that test centres are closed due to the pandemic and that students may not have access to transportation and, hence, have extended their waivers.”

Gupta recommended that candidates should now focus more on their academics and extracurricular activities to prepare a strong application. “If students still manage to take the SAT or ACT, and score well, they should submit their scores as it will positively impact their applications.”

Most recent among those who announced the test waiver is Harvard University, which said “accomplishments in and out of the classroom during the high school years — including community involvement, employment, and help given to students’ families are considered as part of our process. However, students who find themselves limited in the activities they can pursue due to the current coronavirus outbreak will not be disadvantaged as a result, nor will students who are only able to present pass/fail grades or other similar marks on their transcripts.”

Standardised tests like the SAT were already under the scanner, with many American university presidents holding the view that test scores were not pivotal predictors of a student’s success. University of Massachusetts Boston said, “As a university, we recognise that not all students’ abilities are reflected by a standardised test score. In offering a no-test option, we hope to allow qualified academic applicants to highlight their qualifications.” In reviewing applications for 2022, Columbia University said, “In response to continued disruptions to standardised testing availability due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Columbia is extending our test-optional policy for one year, effective for transfer and first-year applicants to Columbia College or Columbia Engineering for the fall of 2022.”





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