Every year thousands of high school students spend a lot of time and money preparing to take SAT and/or ACT exams hoping that these results will help them gain admission into the college of their choice. For every student who does well on a standardized exam, there are many more that don’t. If you are one of those students who never performed well on standardized exams and are dreading the SAT, ACT or even the subject exams, look no further. There are other options out there.
A site called www.fairtest.org gives a list of the many college and universities which don’t require (or make optional) a standardized exam for college admission. Fairtest.org was developed by the National Center for Fair & Open Testing whose mission is to promote equal opportunity in education. Although this organization has many goals, one in particular is to promote equal access to college by promoting fair evaluations of student records. According to FairTest.org, they “place special emphasis on eliminating the racial, class, gender, and cultural barriers to equal opportunity posed by standardized tests, and preventing their damage to the quality of education.” They believe results from a standardized exam, be it favorable or otherwise, should not keep students from being fairly evaluated. Fairtest.org includes a database of colleges, just under 1000 in the country, that either don’t require, make optional, or include stipulations about standardized exams in the admission process.
One example is the University of Oregon located in Eugene. Oregon does not require the SAT or ACT provided the student has met the required minimum GPA and class rank. Likewise, a student applying to Pitzer College in Claremont, California will be exempt from submitting SAT/ACT scores if they are in the top 10% of their class or have an unweighted GPA of 3.5 or higher. In addition, institutions like Smith College in Massachusetts and American University in Washington, D.C. make standardized exams optional as part of their application process. Many students would agree that the standardized exam is the most dreaded piece of the admissions puzzle. At the end of the day it is nice to know that there are colleges and universities out there that evaluate students not solely based on test results but other important factors as well.
For more information on colleges who offer options contact:
P.O. Box 300204
Jamaica Plain, MA 02130