Colleges Abandoning Test Scores for Admissions Find It Harder to Be Fair in Student Selection, Researcher Says | Tech US News

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One admissions officer at a large public university described how optional admissions had fueled several disagreements in his office. A third application reader was often called in to break a tie when one staff member said “yes” and the other said “no.” Without SAT and ACT scores, he explained, the job of admitting students became more subjective and time-consuming. “I feel like everyone who reviews the applications has their own view or opinion,” he said.

This chilling anecdote comes from a research project led by Kelly Slay, an assistant professor at Vanderbilt University, who conducted in-depth interviews with admissions officers in 2022 to understand how the elimination of SAT and ACT testing requirements is playing out inside colleges. and universities. According to Slay, admissions officers often described a “chaotic” and “stressful” process in which they had no clear instructions on how to select students without test scores. Admissions officers at select colleges were also “overwhelmed” by the number of applicants triggered by the admissions test policies.

“One of our key findings was the tensions that arose around these optional testing policies,” Slay said. “There is a struggle on how to implement them.”

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