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The Resurgence of SAT and ACT Tests: Why Universities Are Requiring Them Again

In recent years, the debate surrounding the necessity of standardized tests like the SAT and ACT for college admissions has been fervent. Some argued for their removal, citing concerns about bias and inequity, while others advocated for their continued use as valuable tools for assessing academic preparedness. However, a notable trend has emerged: universities are once again requiring these tests as part of their admissions process. But why the shift back to standardized testing?


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1. Benchmark for Comparison: One of the primary reasons universities are reverting to requiring SAT and ACT scores is the need for a standardized benchmark for comparing applicants. With an increasingly competitive landscape for college admissions, universities need a consistent metric to evaluate students from diverse educational backgrounds fairly.


2. Predictive Validity: Despite criticisms, numerous studies have shown that SAT and ACT scores correlate with academic success in college. These tests provide admissions officers with valuable insights into a student's ability to handle the rigors of higher education, predict their likelihood of success, and identify potential for scholarship opportunities.


3. Data-Driven Decision Making: Colleges and universities are placing greater emphasis on data-driven decision making in admissions. SAT and ACT scores provide quantifiable data points that complement other application materials, such as GPA, extracurricular activities, and essays, allowing admissions officers to make more informed decisions.

4. Accessibility Improvements: Recognizing concerns about equity and access, organizations like the College Board and ACT have taken steps to make standardized testing more accessible to all students. This includes fee waivers for low-income students, accommodations for students with disabilities, and offering the tests multiple times throughout the year.


5. Pandemic Response: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted many aspects of education, including the administration of standardized tests. However, as testing options adapted and remote testing became available, universities have reinstated their requirements for SAT and ACT scores, albeit with some flexibility and understanding of the challenges students faced during the pandemic.


6. International Considerations: For international students, standardized tests like the SAT and ACT provide a universal benchmark for evaluating academic readiness. As universities continue to attract a diverse pool of applicants from around the globe, these tests remain valuable tools for assessing students' abilities in a consistent manner.


While the debate over the role of standardized testing in college admissions continues, the resurgence of SAT and ACT requirements by universities reflects their enduring value in evaluating students' academic preparedness and potential for success in higher education. As such, students should be prepared to demonstrate their proficiency in these tests as part of the holistic admissions process. At Cakir Academy, we understand the importance of standardized testing and offer comprehensive SAT and ACT preparation courses to help students excel and achieve their academic goals.

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