University to Become Test Optional Fall 2021

University to Become Test Optional Fall 2021

Connor Cusick, Reporter

University officials announced that they will not require student applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores for fall 2021 admission.

Students applying to the university were asked to submit either SAT or ACT scores in past years, but now students may choose whether or not to send these scores as part of their admissions packets. This test optional policy applies only to students who seek  fall 2021 admission. Admissions officials said they will assess the results of the policy and make a final choice on whether the university will be test optional at a later point.

The policy was partially due to the pandemic causing SAT and ACT test administers to cancel examination dates, which led to limited availability for students to take the test.  The university is also hopping on a trend that more than 1,000 colleges and universities across the U.S. are implementing, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing.

Glenn Bozinski, Vice President of Enrollment Management, said in a press release that he believes going test optional will take some of the pressure off of high school students.

“With the significant challenges students are facing in continuing their high school career in the face of the ongoing health and economic crises, the additional burden of struggling to gain access to, and preparing for, standardized testing should not be added to their plates,” he said.

Current students have mixed opinions of the test-optional policy.

Freshman Anthony DePalma said he didn’t enjoy taking the SAT, so he submitted his ACT scores instead.

Matt Lavin, senior physical therapy major, said he didn’t like taking the SAT, either.

“I did not really like the SAT because of the amount of stress that was involved in one day,” he said. “Also, it was very hard to get scheduled for a day that would fit your schedule.”

While he thinks the tests do provide some information, he doesn’t think SAT scores are the best indicator of a student’s academic potential.

“To an extent, SAT scores do show intelligence, but there are definitely other factors that should be taken into account when analyzing a student for admission,” Lavin said.

DePalma agreed and said standardized tests leave smart students who may not be good test takers behind.

“I don’t think the SAT shows how smart you are,” he said.  “People may not be good under pressure or in certain areas of the SAT they may want to study. It’s not an accurate representation of what kind of student the person is.”

Lavin believes other factors of a student’s academic history should be taken into account as well.

“I think that some schools should require SAT scores but not all. Some kids just have trouble taking tests, so it could be hard for them to get high scores,” Lavin said.

DePalma is on board with the university becoming test optional as he feels it will be a more inclusive admissions process for all high school students who wish to apply.

“I think not making test scores mandatory is smart because some people are just not good test takers, so it doesn’t show what kind of true student you really are,” he said.

Junior Hailley Brown admitted that she is not good taking big tests like the SATs and ACTs and wishes she would have had the option to not submit her scores when she was applying to Misericordia.

“I do believe that my academic performance was better shown through my grades throughout my four years of high school over my SAT scores,” Brown said.

Admissions officials said they will encourage students to send in their scores.