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Test-optional levels playing field

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More than 1,000 accredited colleges and universities as of this fall have a test-optional admissions policy, meaning SATs and ACTs are not required.

The University of La Verne is considering adopting such a policy as well, which would be a good move.

The SAT and ACT tests do not offer a fair and accurate representation of a student’s intellect, and have been shown to be biased against most ethnic minorities, according to FairTest, the National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

The study “2019 SAT Scores: Gaps Between Demographic Groups Grows Larger” released Sept. 24 by FairTest, found that white and Asian/Pacific islander students scored higher than students of other races, with average scores being 1114 and 1223 respectively. Native American students had an average of 912, black or African American students had an average of 933 and Hispanic, Latino students had an average of 979.

Not only did the student’s race come into play, but the education status of their parents plays an important role as well, according to the study. Students whose parents have a bachelor’s degree scored an average of 1121, while students whose parents do not have a high school diploma scored an average of 926. 

The study also found that students who had their test fee waived had an average score of 987, while those who did not scored a 1076 average.

These inaccurate standardized tests should not make or break a college hopeful. With how inconsistent test scores can be between race, social class and parental education, it is important to seek other ways to determine if a student is a right fit for a specific college.

The step that many colleges are taking to eliminate requiring the test will ensure that everyone, regardless of a student’s demographics or financial status get an equal shot at admission.

With how ineffective the SAT and ACT tests are, it is important for ULV to adopt the test-optional format to keep everyone at an equal playing field.

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