Despite overwhelming evidence that grades and courses taken possess far greater predictive value than scores on the SAT and ACT, their use continues (“Students May Be Able to Take SAT, ACT at Home Due to Coronavirus,” The Wall Street Journal, Apr. 16). I’m referring now to the 20-year landmark study conducted by Bates College.
In 2005, Bates found virtually no difference in four-year grades and on-time graduation rates between 7,000 submitters and non-submitters. Since then, more than 1,000 colleges and universities that have followed the same test-optional policy have reported similar outcomes.
It’s hard to understand why the SAT and ACT continue to be used in light of this overwhelming evidence. But tradition dies hard in academe, which is why the debate will go on. The only beneficiaries are the companies that design the tests.
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