Colleges should remain test-optional
Many teens around the world would come to rejoice when news of the SAT being halted for admissions in California universities was released. Although, for the classes of 2021 and 2022, schools going “test-optional” did not exactly mean they wouldn’t be taking the SAT for admissions.
To many, “test-optional” meant “it’ll make me look better,” and some others would be forced by their parents to take it. However, that would only apply to privileged students. Even though the SAT was “test-optional,” students from lower income families were still at a disadvantage. They wouldn’t have the money to pay for the thousand dollar SAT prep classes, so their test results would be unfairly compared to a student who had access to those resources.
Before and especially now during the COVID-19 pandemic, another group was put at a disadvantage: the disabled community. Going to test centers around other possible COVID-19 carriers posed dangerous health risks to people with weak immune systems. This led to a lawsuit forcing the University of California schools to adopt the test-blind policy immediately.
I think all California university admissions should go test-blind, and the elimination of standardized tests in college admissions is beneficial. The SAT gave able, privileged students coming from higher income families an advantage in college admissions because they had resources to improve their score, ultimately leading to them scoring higher.
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s also fair for universities to go test-blind because students shouldn’t have to risk exposing themselves and others to a deadly virus just to take a test for college admissions. With many SAT testing centers closing and even more SAT tests being cancelled, it’s harder than ever to find a secure date and place to take the test.
Many seniors who are already struggling with the impact of COVID-19 on their school year shouldn’t need the extra stress of taking the SAT to satisfy admission requirements. California universities have already decided on going test blind for the classes of 2023-25, why not do the same for classes of 2021 and 2022, who are struggling the most to take the SAT?