Are SAT and ACT Tests Too “Old School?”

According to Inside Higher Ed, the National Association for College Admission Counseling has launched a panel asking colleges to consider dropping SAT and ACT results as admission guidelines:

The panel, in a report to be formally released this week (PDF file), calls on all colleges to consider more systematically whether they really need testing to admit their students. If there is not clear evidence of the need for testing, the commission urges the colleges to drop the requirement and it expresses the view that there are likely more colleges and universities that could make such a change …

Colleges that have conducted in-depth analyses of the value of standardized tests have frequently ended up questioning the tests’ use. For example, the University of California recently studied whether SAT subject tests helped admissions decisions and found — generally — that they do not. Hamilton College, prior to abandoning an SAT requirement in 2006, conducted a five-year experiment being SAT-optional. During that time, the 40 percent of students who didn’t submit SAT scores performed slightly better at Hamilton — a highly competitive liberal arts college — than did those who did submit scores. And in a finding consistent with studies at other colleges, Hamilton found that when it went test-optional, it received more applications from students at the top of their high school classes and many more applications from minority students.

Pretty interesting stuff.

Hat tip to Reason Magazine’s blog.