The SAT isn’t necessarily a reflection of how much students know; instead, the test indicates how good they are at test taking. The real measure of student aptitude is more accurately reflected in the grades they received during their four years of high school.
That belief is becoming the adopted philosophy of many colleges and universities across the country, with UNH now following suit in a test of its own that will make it optional for high school students to submit test scores with their college applications.The three-year pilot program starts next fall.
Rob McGann, director of admissions and interim vice president for enrollment management, notes that the university has two goals in moving to a test-optional policy. One, a greater diversity (race/ethnic, first generation, socioeconomic, gender, etc.) of applicants for whom standardized testing presents a real or perceived barrier to pursuing higher education. Two, reinforcement that the most important part of the admissions decision-making process is a student’s high school classroom academic record. National data and the university’s own projections suggest these outcomes.
According to The National Center for Fair and Open Testing, more than 1,000 four-year colleges and universities do not use the SAT or ACT to admit the majority of their undergraduate applicants.