Test scores not a factor in student admission

Katie Armes

Review staff writer

Following hundreds of other colleges in a national trend, Linfield College will begin discussing the value and importance of SAT and ACT scores in admissions this spring.

According to The New York Times, colleges have been pressured to admit students because of their high test scores in order to improve their ratings in college listings, such as those issued by U.S. News and World Report.

However, SAT and ACT scores fail to take into account other factors in a student’s life; they are meant to be viewed in conjunction with other statistics, such as grade point averages and academic preparations.

“At Linfield, we don’t make admissions decisions based on one thing,” Director of Admissions Lisa Knodle-Bragiel said.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling is encouraging colleges to discuss and study their use of SAT scores in admissions and determine if they are used in a way that accurately reflects the true value of the test.

The association is not telling schools to stop looking at test results but rather to focus on other aspects of the application by not requiring minimum scores on the standardized tests.

The NACAC is also working to decrease the use of “cut scores” in standardized tests when deciding the recipients of National Merit scholarships and other similar awards. Cut scores are predetermined scores that serve as benchmarks to show proficiency students’ levels.

“I feel like students in their junior and senior years are only thinking about their SATs, and it stresses them out a lot,” freshman Kirstie Franceschina said. “They could be focusing on other things, like extracurriculars and studying.”

More than 775 schools do not ask students to turn in SAT or ACT scores with their application, and this number is growing, according to www.fairtest.org. The schools include Lewis & Clark College, the Art Institute of Chicago, Pitzer College and Alabama State University.

“We’re going to begin discussing the importance of the SAT in the admissions process,” Knodle-Bragiel said.

Linfield places the most emphasis on academic preparation, the difficulty of high school courses, when considering an applicant.

SAT or ACT scores are examined in how they relate to grade point average, Knodle-Bragiel said, and involvement in high school clubs and volunteering activities are considered “icing on
the cake.”

Linfield does not require a minimum SAT or ACT score for admission.

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