The writing may be on the wall for the ACT® and SAT®. It seems the University of California system is considering dropping ACT® and SAT® scores in its process of admission. This is big news.
Or is it just the same old story? Forgive my cynicism but I’ve heard the talk now for some time. For years, The National Center for Fair and Open Testing has led the charge to remove standardized tests from the college admission process. It has cited various studies that show how the ACT® and SAT® are only marginally effective in predicting student performance in college. So why are these tests still a big part of college admission process for many universities? Because—arguably—large, competitive and selective universities need a standardized measurement to identify those students more qualified to succeed at large, competitive and selective universities. Some universities are considering the Smarter Balanced test as an alternative. Perhaps this test will offer a better assessment or maybe it will just be more of the same: those with access to test resources will perform better than those without. The cynic in me says the sunset of the ACT® and SAT® is still far off in the distance. Too much is at stake for everyone involved, most notably the companies behind the tests. The College Board (SAT®) generates about $1B annually, about half of which comes from the SAT®. ACT, Inc. (ACT®) generates about $350M annually. With so much money at stake, odds are these two organizations will fight to hold onto their tests as they have for years. But if the UCs indeed drop ACT® and SAT® scores in the admission process, perhaps the National Center for Fair and Open Testing will have pushed the entire U.S. university system to a tipping point. Maybe the end is near for the ACT® and SAT® and the future is the Smarter Balanced test. In which case, CROSSWALK will start working on how to prepare students for the Smarter Balanced test in an effort to do our part to help students achieve their academic goals. In the mean time, feel free to contact CROSSWALK for your ACT® and SAT® preparation and other academic tutoring. CROSSWALK is the Monterey Peninsula’s local resource for test prep and academic tutoring.