05 Sep Pitt goes to test for 2021
As public colleges closed nationwide in response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, so too did many highschool college students’ alternative to take the SAT or ACT. In response, an rising variety of faculties and universities are going test-optional, requiring no SAT or ACT rating.
Pitt’s Dietrich College of Arts and Sciences introduced in July that it too would grow to be test-optional, becoming a member of the College’s department campuses. The School of Enterprise Administration, Swanson College of Engineering and College of Computing and Info have adopted swimsuit.
Kellie Kane, the affiliate vice provost for enrollment and government director of admissions, mentioned the transfer to test-optional admissions is about giving each applicant a good shot.
“What we didn’t need was for any scholar to overlook out on the chance of making use of for admission on the College of Pittsburgh simply because they weren’t capable of take a take a look at,” Kane mentioned. “There are such a lot of testing facilities across the nation and the world the place the exams have simply been canceled. They haven’t had entry to these exams and we aren’t about placing up obstacles to college students for the chance to grow to be a part of the Pitt household.”
Kane added that different components of a scholar’s faculty software will take middle stage this 12 months, particularly for college students who select to not submit or can’t submit an SAT or ACT rating.
“Grade traits and the curriculum [that a student takes] shall be essential,” Kane mentioned. “We’re going to rely very closely on that supplemental data that they ship in — the non-public assertion, quick reply questions — maybe letters of advice. As a result of we wish to get to know these college students.”
However potential college students nonetheless have doubts about this courageous new world of school admissions. Anna Cappella, a senior at Pittsburgh’s Taylor Allderdice Excessive College who plans to submit each her SAT and ACT scores, questioned how radically faculty admissions can actually adapt.
“Most faculties declare that test-optional candidates gained’t be at a drawback, however in a system that usually depends so closely on take a look at scores, I can’t think about how,” Cappella mentioned. “I fear about how the assessment course of will change, particularly for bigger and extra selective colleges.”
Cappella mentioned she hopes that deemphasizing SAT and ACT scores this admission cycle serves as a bellwether for higher progress within the faculty admissions course of.
“Lots of people research for these exams like their future relies on it, as a result of that’s how admissions appear to work, however I believe these scores will not be indicative of a scholar’s actual value,” Cappella mentioned. “I hope that reviewers will take this chance to see how college students could be assessed with out standardized exams. Possibly they’ll even be happier with the outcomes.”
Miriam Layne, a senior at close by Pine-Richland Excessive College who plans to submit her SAT rating, mentioned admissions officers ought to give much less weight to SAT and ACT scores.
“I’m hoping that they might be extra lenient with their admissions since there are college students who will solely have the chance to take the SAT or ACT solely as soon as,” Layne mentioned of the few faculties utilizing SAT and ACT scores this 12 months.
Layne mentioned she feels relieved by the College’s test-optional coverage this admissions cycle.
“I really feel way more assured in my software now that Pitt is test-optional. I used to be very frightened earlier than since I’ll solely have one or two probabilities to take the SAT,” Layne mentioned. “Many issues are unsure proper now, so it takes away among the stress realizing that I don’t have to fret about retaking the SAT till I get my desired rating.”
Whether or not many faculties and universities will keep test-optional after the 2021 fall admissions cycle stays unclear. As of the 2020 fall admissions cycle, about 1,000 faculties have been already test-optional, based on the Nationwide Heart for Honest and Open Testing.
“My intestine is telling me that the times of requiring standardized take a look at scores are most likely numbered,” Kane mentioned. “Fingers crossed, I’m hoping that this experiment works this 12 months. I’d like to see it as a everlasting a part of our admissions course of.”
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