North Carolina college sees improvement since abandoning SAT requirements

The usefulness of the SAT has come under intense scrutiny in recent years. Some experts say that the test doesn't offer a true indication of a student's potential, but others are sticking to it, saying that it can be beneficial for college admissions officials when they're looking at prospective students' college applications.

Academic leaders at Wake Forest University (WFU) in North Carolina decided to abandon the SAT as a mandatory entry requirement three years ago, according to the Washington Post. One of the first colleges in the U.S. to become test-optional, the school reports that the overall academic quality of applicants has never been higher.

Since becoming a test-optional school, 83 percent of applicants to WFU graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class, an increase of 13 percent since moving away from mandatory SAT entry requirements in 2008. Approximately 22 percent of applicants were from ethnic minorities this year, as opposed to 16 percent three years ago, and the number of enrolled Pell Grant-eligible students has doubled.

Joseph Soares, a sociology professor at WFU, told The New York Times that high school grades are the best indication of an applicant's academic potential, and that many schools place too much emphasis on SAT scores.

Are you applying to a test-optional school or would you consider doing so?

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  1. Marie says:

    I honestly think that it depends on the academic style of the school. Many top colleges do need the SAT as an indicator as it is essentially a more applicable IQ test, which is necessary in such an advanced environment, while mid-tier and lower school probably should disregard it, as a good work ethic is all that is required to succeed at these schools, and high grades would be a decent representation of that.

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