Why Many Universities are Dropping the SAT Writing Test

Although not a requirement at every college, the ACT and SAT essays are completed by thousands of students each year, eager to be accepted into college. Only a select few universities require the tests. Most schools either recommend or consider scores before accepting new students, but recent trends may impact the essay portion in the near future.


Top Universities are Changing Requirements

Harvard University recently announced it was removing the essay requirement, a decision shortly followed by Yale and the University of San Diego. Other universities to drop the essay portion include Princeton, Stanford, Brown, Duke, the California University of Technology, and the University of Michigan. There are several factors that go into making this decision, such as the added expense for students and the acceptance of graded essays in place of the SAT essay.

The University of California, however, may play a big part in the future of the essay portion as all students applying have to submit an SAT or ACT essay. The decision is controlled by BOARS or the Board of Admissions and Relations with Schools. BOARS members are monitoring the situation with other schools and state that data has to be further analyzed before a decision is made.

Why Many Universities are Dropping the SAT Writing Test


The Future of the SAT Essay

Many critics of the essay portion claim that students spend a great deal of time and money preparing for the test which may not even be required at their choice school. On top of the extra cost of the essay, it causes added stress.

Another factor affecting requirements is the scoring system. In June, many students and parents complained about low scores on the mathematics section, which seemed easy. The problem is that the test is graded on a curve, impacting the overall score students receive when they miss a question.

Some universities are going test optional, meaning ACT or SAT scores may not be required at all, depending on factors like GPA. As more top schools are altering or considering their requirements, the future of the SAT essay may soon be changing.

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