Cal State May Drop SAT, ACT Requirement

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Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Jan 31, 2022 01:24 PM IST

The board of trustees of the California State University System on January 26, 2022, indicated it would no longer require students to take the SAT and ACT tests to apply for undergraduate courses.

Cal State May Drop SAT, ACT Requirement

The board of trustees of the California State University System on January 26, 2022, indicated it would no longer require students to take the SAT and ACT tests in order to get into the school. The move, which was approved by the university system’s trustees, is aimed at making the college admission process more transparent.

Although some trustees opposed the move, the committee did not discuss it during its meeting. None of the trustees on the committee supported the recommendation to drop the tests. The council of students, faculty, and administrators found that the tests were not effective in predicting college success and creating undue stress for low-income and minority students.

The council also found that the tests were not effective in predicting college success, and they produced disparate results for minorities and low-income students. The board will vote on the proposal in March, and the council will draft a new admissions formula.

Diego Arambula, a board member and an educational consultant, said that the issue of the tests has been an issue for students and their families. To see that a GPA alone has better predictive power, he said, makes him think that dropping the tests would help relieve the stress of young people. One of the members of the admission council praised the recommendation. She said she was glad that it was made because it would help all students.

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Almost 1,800 universities have decided to permanently drop assessment scores. As various other colleges and universities across the US drop the ACT and SAT tests for admission, California State University became the latest to join the list. The University of California system is the biggest proponent of testing-free policies. Its move would cement California as a national leader in developing test-free educational systems.

Also Read: SAT Exam to Cover More Topics, Be Shorter, Allow Calculator

The operators of the SAT and the ACT argue that their tests help predict the success of many students and are not biased against minorities. The College Board, which operates the exams, introduced a new format this week that's shorter, more cheat-resistant, and shorter. The new format did not change the recommendation of the Board of Trustees, which is to recommend the use of the same test.

For the last two years, the Cal State system has suspended testing requirements due to the pandemic. Instead of relying on grades and test scores, campuses now consider other factors, such as a school's participation in extracurricular activities and academic rigour.

Aside from test scores, the admissions process also includes factors such as a school's socioeconomic status and geographical location. The admission advisory council of the university is expected to draft a proposal that would establish a minimum GPA for prospective students.

The flexibility of the admissions process would allow campuses to consider various factors when assessing potential students. For instance, some schools, such as Cal State Long Beach, do not review applications with a 3.0 GPA. The same goes for Cal State Los Angeles. Although it will only consider applicants with a 2.0 GPA, it will still consider other factors such as their ability to manage their studies.

Also Read: US Adds 22 New Subjects to STEM OPT for International Students

For students without the SAT or the ACT scores, the campuses are using a general GPA instead of the assessments. The trustees of the university system were asked about the quality of education that would be provided to test-free students. Jack Clarke Jr. The chairman of the trustees, defended the system's decision to drop the admission requirements for certain subjects. 

According to university officials, the courses taken in high school are the best predictor of academic success in college. The goal is to find the strongest predictors and then align those with the university's core values. Robert Collins, the Academic Senate chair, said that his faculty members were already supporting the proposal. Collins noted that his faculty members were confident that they could work together with the school's teachers to ensure that students are prepared for college.

Cal State Student Association President Krystal Raynes said she was not yet convinced that dropping the testing requirements would have the desired effect. Although the Cal State student association is generally supportive of the proposal, Student Trustee Raynes noted that she was worried about the potential impact on student populations.

April Grommo, an enrollment management services official, said that although the number of applications might go up, the state's funding proposal will still increase enrollment. The proposed budget of California Governor Gavin Newsom would increase the number of students at Cal State by almost 9,000 this fall. However, the admission advisory council did not recommend dropping the testing requirements.

Also Read: PTE Academic Online Test to Begin in January 2022: Pearson PTE

Instead, the council decided to keep the testing requirements at their current level or make it optional for students. Grommet, a student at Cal State, said that opting out would send the wrong message to students and make them more confused regarding Assessment scores.

Source: Los Angeles Times 

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