Support independent, student-run journalism.

Your support helps give staff members from all backgrounds the opportunity to conduct meaningful reporting on important issues at Stanford. All contributions are tax-deductible.

Should Stanford go test-optional?

In an effort to equalize the playing field with regard to socioeconomic, cultural, and language barriers, the University of Chicago has become the first of America’s elite universities to adopt a “test-optional” admission policy: as of this fall, applicants need not submit SAT or ACT scores to be considered for admission.
Last week, Stanford’s admission office took a step in this direction, announcing that it will no longer require applicants to report ACT or SAT essay scores. But in the wake of UChicago’s new policy, some wonder whether Stanford ought to become test-optional entirely.

I am more than a number: The case against SAT scores in college admissions

Stanford sees applicant pools of 40,000 or more. more than 5.07% of applicants have SAT scores in the 2200-2400 range student, so the 2000 or so who make the final cut must have done something exceptional other than receiving a perfect SAT score to make themselves stand out. Stanford has the opportunity to be the first elite institution to formally eliminate the SAT from its admissions considerations and inspire others leaders in higher education to follow. Without SAT scores, higher education could return its focus on identifying true, deep, and brilliant thinkers and developing them to their fullest potential instead of rewarding the most “excellent sheep.”

Standardized testing: the scourge of student life

Tests should at no point be the be-all-and-end-all, as they are now among public education systems. Even in their most enlightened forms, they should be no more than a small part of a student’s education toolkit. From the perspective of learning, passing tests doesn’t begin to compare with inquiring and pursuing topics that engage and excite us – as learners, not test-takers.

Holistic admissions undermine a meritocracy

Many American universities tout their subjective holistic admissions as providing opportunities to socioeconomically disadvantaged applicants. While this goal is laudable, there exist tried and tested wholly objective alternatives to accomplish the same goal, such as admitting the best students from socioeconomically disadvantaged schools independently of how these students compare with students from advantaged schools. While…