Report: Test-Optional Trends in Pandemic Year for College Admissions

Diverse: Issues in Higher Education

Dr. Johann Neem, a history professor at Western Washington University and author of What’s the Point of College? Seeking Purpose in an Age of Reform, stressed the importance of understanding the history of standardized testing versus its controversial reality today. The SAT had been designed decades ago to initially help people who did not traditionally have access to college get an education and enter the middle class or beyond. But as Wang noted, studies have shown that not to be the case anymore.

“I think these tests have become one more tool in a competitive game to gain access to the top universities,” said Neem. “While we could say one point of college is to create a new elite, that’s not the real point of college. The real point is to get an advanced education. And the goal of any admissions office then should not be how do I gain prestige but rather will this person be successful and contribute to the campus.”

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Thursday, September 16, 2021 - 10:51am

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