“If you look at all the testimonies from K-12 teachers to college professors, [students] really can’t write, and if you look at the remedial instruction rates in the college system, you see that a very large percentage of kids … Izumi said that 40 to 50 percent of incoming freshmen at California State University have needed remedial courses.
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While Columbia University also said it sought to eliminate an economic barrier, Yale pointed to the fact that not all school-day SAT and ACT exams offered the essay portion and the school did not want students to have to take an extra test.
Nine of the 21 institutions that still require applicants to submit ACT or SAT essays make up the University of California system, including schools like UC Berkeley and UCLA.
It “relied on students using their own experiences and values [and] didn’t rely upon facts and evidence.
Students could write something nonsensical and unrelated to empirical reality.” But SAT developer and administrator College Board, as well as the ACT maintain the utility of their essay exams.
Two additional universities are also considering dropping their SAT and ACT essay requirements.
“The short sample essays test-takers generate as part of the ACT or SAT have never been of much use in the higher education admissions process,” National Center for Fair & Open Testing Public Education Director Bob Schaeffer told The DCNF.
The group, also known as Fair Test, supports test-optional college admissions.
“Institutions [that have dropped them] recognize that effective written communication requires collecting and analyzing information, determining relevance and central themes, drafting an initial response, reviewing, rewriting, and proof-reading,” he continued.