MIT will again require SAT, ACT

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT, recently announced the SAT and ACT standardized tests will again be required for students wishing to admission from next school year.

This is a change from the past two years, as MIT and thousands of other colleges and universities decided to give students the choice of sending in their scores. Indeed, the test centers closed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many schools say they will continue the policy for at least a while.

A group that opposes testing, called FairTest, noted last fall that more than 1,800 colleges and universities have been tested. optional This year. Even before the pandemic, the University of Chicago made test scores optional.

In fact, the University of California and California State University, Cal State, have gone further. They removed the testing requirement. The two university groups operate more than 30 colleges and universities in California and teach approximately 700,000 students each year.

Announcing the decision in March, California’s top state leader Steve Relyea, known as the Chancellor, said the decision “Level the playing fieldand enable more students to obtain a “high quality” degree.

Bob Schaeffer is the head of FairTest. He said many universities in the United States will soon follow [California’s] conduct.” He called the move to eliminate testing “no accident.”

FILE – In this Sept. 2, 2020, file photo, people walk on the campus of San Diego State University in San Diego. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, file)

against the trend

However, MIT, one of the highest rated schools in the United States, goes against this movement.

Stu Schmill is the Admissions Officer at MIT. In a post on the school‘s website, Schmill said the SAT and ACT give the school a way to judge whether students are ready for MIT. Additionally, he noted, the tests help MIT find students who are able to do well, but who may come from high schools that aren’t able to teach “advanced courses.”

In a conversation with the MIT Information Service, Schmill said test scores, especially in math, allow the school to predict a student’s performance. He said, however, that MIT is not looking for students with perfect scores, but the scores are important additional information.

Additionally, Schmill said, since so many students have been taking classes via video over the past two years, it’s been difficult for teachers to give correct grades. Tests are now more valuable than grades in some cases.

Critics of standardized tests say rich students have an advantage and perform better than poor students. Wealthy schools often have counselors who help students learn the tests. Both California universities noted this criticism as a reason for eliminate the tests.

Schmill, however, said the SAT is a good way for MIT’s admissions department to see that a student is prepared for college even if they haven’t taken the most science and math courses. difficult.

“The SAT/ACT can also open the door to MIT for these students,” he said.

FILE - People walk past the Ray and Maria Stata Center, behind, on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Mass., July 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

FILE – People walk past the Ray and Maria Stata Center, behind, on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, Mass., July 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

An expert opinion

Tiffany Blessing is an advisor for IvyWise, a New York company that helps students think about college. She is a former assistant director of admissions at MIT.

Blessing said MIT’s decision won’t affect most students who were already planning to apply.

“Generally,” she said, “students plan to take standardized tests and use the elective test [choice] when the test results… don’t turn out as they expected.

Blessing said the decision will help international students show they are comfortable with an English test and an American-style assessment.

“It helps a college or university understand how strong an ‘A’ can be in a situation where almost everyone in the candidate Bowl a ‘A’.

Blessing also noted that students who plan to go to MIT will also send in other scores. US students will send Advanced Placement test results and international students will send their own country results. For a student from Great Britain, for example, MIT will look at the results of A-level exams and IGCSE tests in different subjects.

Schmill said the test is a “tool” and the school will make changes if better tools become available.

As he said at New York Times recently: “I’m not saying it’s the right decision for any other school. But for us, we think it’s the right decision.

I am Dan Friedell. And I’m Faith Pirlo.

Dan Friedell wrote this story for Learning English with information from The Associated Press, MIT, and his own interview with Blessing.

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words in this story

standardized –adj. something that everyone must do and that is the same for everyone

admission – nm the act of admitting or permitting someone to enter a school or university

option – nm the possibility of choosing between two or more things

Level the playing field – phrase. the idea of ​​making sure everything is fair

eliminate – v. remove something

Bowl – nm a group of people doing the same job or activity together, such as students applying for admission to a school

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