Should ACT, SAT scores matter?


High school students across the country are anxiously cramming for their fall ACT and SAT test dates, hoping to get a high enough score to gain admission into the college of their choice. But should these tests still be used to determine admission? According to a recent study, maybe not.


Recently, a three-year study was conducted to measure the college success of students who submitted ACT or SAT scores to schools and those who did not, following a “test-optional” admissions policy. The study, which was led by William Hiss, the Dean of Admissions for Bates College, found there was only a slight difference in success between the test takers and non-test takers.


The study found a difference of 0.05 percent of a GPA point and 0.6 percent difference in graduation rates between the two groups.


According to PBS.org, there are about 850 colleges in the U.S. with test-optional criteria. At these schools, students are not required to submit an ACT or SAT score. Instead, they are admitted based on their high school performance in the classroom .


Hiss told PBS.org that he believes a student’s GPA should matter the most when it comes to college admissions. Hiss said showing four years of success and hard work in the classroom, followed by extracurricular interests, better demonstrate a student’s abilities.


The study showed that if a student achieves a high ACT or SAT score but his or her grades do not align, then that student is not necessarily going to succeed in college. According to the study’s findings, students with good grades and average test scores did better than those with high test scores and lower high school grades.