Nearly 850 four-year colleges do not use the SAT I or ACT to admit substantial numbers of bachelor degree applicants. I found this to be a surprising figure. I think it is remarkable that prominent universities such as New York University, University of Texas Austin, University of Houston, DePaul and George Mason University have all adapted their admission policies to not give as much weight to the SAT. See the list here from fairtest.org. Wouldn’t it be extraordinary if students and parents didn’t have to devote time and resources studying for a standardized test since they are not helpful evaluation tools or predictors of success? The fact sheet by fairtest.org explains what’s wrong with standardized tests quite well.
Imagine if all the time spent studying for standardized tests was suddenly available for other more meaningful activities – how much more value would that bring? Students would have much more time to gain hands-on experience building a meaningful service project such as an after-school program, arts program, reading program or any other idea that the student believes would add value to the community. Could you imagine the skills that would be learned in regards to project management, time management, collaboration, finances, problem solving and more. Not only would students develop applicable skills, but they would also learn a lot about themselves and what drives them. Who knows, such experiences may actually make quite a story to brag about in college applications.
What do you think would add more value to a student’s academic career – SAT classes or building a meaningful service project?